The designation by nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education recognizes efforts by Elon to encourage voter registration and participation during the 2020 elections.
Elon University has been designated a “Voter Friendly Campus” for its efforts to encourage students to be involved in the political process.
The designation is part of an initiative led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The initiative held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in 2020 elections and in the coming years.
The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. Elon and other schools receiving the designation were evaluated based on their campus plans about how to register, educate and turn out student voters in 2020. The initiative gauged how schools facilitated voter engagement efforts on campus, and produced a final analysis of these efforts. The designation is valid through December 2022.
Bob Frigo, associate director of the Kernoldle Center for Civic Life, notes that preparing students to gain an understanding of their civic responsibilities is a priority for Elon, with that goal integrated into its 10-year Boldly Elon strategic plan. “This Voter Friendly Campus designation recognizes Elon’s commitment to develop the next generation of informed leaders who will help strengthen communities and shape democracies,” Frigo said.
Elon’s 2020 campus plan included a new student voting ambassador pilot program under the Elon Votes! initiative that saw a team of 25 students support voter registration and absentee ballot support to students, including presentations to classes and organizations and voter registration tabling efforts. Elon was recognized as a national leader in student voter registration efforts by TurboVote, and had set the goal of increasing the student voting rate from 43.9 percent to 50 percent. Additionally, the Active Citizen series is cultivating the next generation of informed leaders with programs that focus on allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of how government works and the importance of civil discourse.
Elon’s campus plan for the 2020 elections was created and coordinated by the Elon University Political Engagement Working Group, a nonpartisan team that involves students, faculty, and staff who are charged to cultivate the next generation of informed leaders who will help strengthen communities and shape our democracy. Members represent areas such as the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies, Global Education Center, Center for Leadership, Student Government Association, Residence Life, Student Media and the Kernodle Center for Civic Life.
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes many Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program is ultimately serving over 3.5 million students.
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.
Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization that works to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.