Tait Ferguson is a sophomore at Denison University who has distinguished himself with an extraordinary commitment to helping his fellow students vote. Tait currently serves as the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) fellow representing Denison. Through this position he set up a series of nonpartisan discussions with faculty and staff to explore topics ranging from Black Lives Matter to climate change. Tait and his co chair convened a group of over 70 students to serve as Voter Ambassadors. This group helped ensure that every student would know how to register to vote. He also offered information and assistance to student voters regarding both absentee and in-person voting processes. Tait is an extraordinary example of a civic minded student leader.
Before I was able to vote, I decided to be a poll worker at my local election precinct, this experience paved the way for my interest in voter engagement once I reached campus. Talking to my peers, I found the biggest problems facing engagement on campus were a confusing voting process and a polarized political landscape. As a student co-coordinator for the campus’s non-partisan voter engagement initiative, I worked to register students to vote, making the complicated process for college students simple and streamlined. I also helped coordinate a campus-wide text banking program so students remained ahead of deadlines turning in their forms. Further, our civic engagement initiative worked with campus partners (faculty, student groups, administration, and campus offices) to organize issue-based civic dialogue panels with experts each week. Our efforts to bring together every greek house, sports team, club, classroom, and office fostered record engagement. All in all, these efforts led to Denison being included in the Washington Monthly’s 2020 Best Colleges for Student Voting, placing 45th out of all United States colleges and universities.