Advancing Full Student Voter Participation

What Researchers Can Do

Send a letter to a university administrator. University presidents are especially critical in this process, especially in allocating university funds to support voter registration. Thus, contacting them is extremely important and time sensitive since early spring is budget season! Use the sample template, or reach out to Samantha for assistance.

Sign up for NSLVE and the ALL IN Challenge. If your campus is not already, sign up for NSLVE to receive student voting data for your campus and the ALL IN Challenge, which helps campuses develop action plans to increase voter registration, engagement, and turnout. Check here to find out if your campus is an NSLVE participant, and see details on how to sign up here.

Secure Presidential CommitmentALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge just released a Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation this March! We are asking SSN members to request that their college and university leaders commit their institutions to actively working toward the goal of full student participation in the 2020 election.

Read and circulate these resources from SSN members and collaborators:

In the Media

Podcast Episodes

Why Universities Matter

We recognize that faculty are best positioned to advocate for institutional changes on campus. Therefore, SSN is making a push to support our members in urging their university leadership -- ideally university presidents -- to prioritize and commit resources to registering all eligible students to vote. Our goal is to provide SSN members with easy to use templates and resources to make this advocacy effective. 

With the 2020 elections fast approaching, it is vital for campuses to take action now to increase student voter registration. It takes time to create, implement, test, and improve a campus plan to register every eligible student. The earlier students are registered, the less likely they are to experience problems, and the more likely they are to receive information and resources that can help them to vote.

The State University of New York at Stony Brook registered over 95% of eligible first-year students. In Chicago, Northwestern University has been able to register over 85% of eligible students. We can, with your help, achieve nearly universal registration at campuses across the country.

What is NSLVE?

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is a research study out of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University. NSLVE provides college campuses information about their college student registration and voting rates for federal elections. NSLVE also helps campuses analyze their campus climate around student political learning and engagement. 

What is the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge? 

The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program. By recognizing colleges and universities for their commitment to increasing student voting rates, the Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, make democratic participation a core value on their campus, and cultivate generations of engaged citizens who are essential to a healthy democracy.

What is a campus action plan?

A campus action plan is a framework for developing institutional goals and strategies to increase nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement and voter participation for a particular college campus. The best plans bring together a wide range of people across the university such as students, faculty and staff from different disciplines, schools, groups on campus and levels of decision making