Hannah Wedepohl, a junior at Denison University, has distinguished herself with an unprecedented commitment to serving her peers through campus governance as well as voter education and registration. Hannah has centered her campus involvement on efforts to raise awareness and increase engagement of Denisonians in their respective communities through her involved in DU Votes and the Denison Campus Governance Association. Hannah's efforts, along with her DU Votes peers, resulted in Denison University being recognized for the ALL IN Challenge for our 2020 voter registration and engagement efforts, ensuring 99.6% of eligible Denison students were registered to vote - the highest rate in the nation. Additionally, 82.9% of eligible voter participated in the 2020 Presidential Election. Hannah pursues leadership roles with passion, eagerness, and expertise - her contributions extend beyond the Denison community as a result of her commitment to help her fellow students ensure their voice is heard and matters.
My commitment to social justice was developed at an early age, coming from a line of social activists in Detroit, Michigan. In high school I became passionate about voter suppression and the lack of knowledge surrounding voter rights. I began to understand how systemic voter suppression is in our society and how it disproportionately impacts people of color and low income, overall marginalized communities. On campus, I have made it a priority to work with Denison University Votes (DU Votes) to register students to vote and educate them on their rights as voters. The efforts of the DU Votes team resulted in Denison being recognized at the ALL IN Challenge awards for having the highest eligible voting rate across all U.S. colleges and universities. Additionally, we had 83 percent voter turnout for the 2020 election. I also created Democracy Tactic Tuesday, a civic education campaign, on Instagram that features informational posts on gerrymandering, voter suppression, special elections, and more, that are posted every Tuesday. In my new position as Co-Coordinator of the DU Votes team, I lead new education initiatives to bring civic engagement into every aspect of student life and work to dismantle systemic racism on our campus.