Bronze Seal for Excellence in Student Voter Engagement

Published: December 06, 2017 | Author: Cami Mathews | Read Time: 2 minutes

Student with i voted stickerThrough work done by the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service, Southern Utah University was recognized for its student voting rates during the 2016 election. The recognition came from the first-ever ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony, held to honor colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates.

SUU earned a bronze seal for achieving a student rate between 50% and 59%. The Leavitt Center worked with the ALL IN organization to register voters on campus, promote civic engagement among students, and analyze voting rates.

“The Leavitt Center provides an open environment for SUU students and local community members to discuss public policy without the constraints of political party affiliation,” said Mary Bennett, director of the Leavitt Center. “As a nonpartisan center, we work to involve all students, no matter their major or political experience, to learn and participate in the civic responsibility of democracy.”

Student participation in elections has increased in the past few years. A recent report from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) shows that between the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, student voting went from 45.1% of eligible voters to 48.3%- a 7% improvement.

SUU had a 49.7% voting rate for the 2016 election, a 1.1% change from 2012. The predominant method of voting was by mail followed by in-person. Voting rates increased by age group, with 83.7% of 50 and older students voting in the election.

“I am proud to honor Southern Utah University with an ALL IN Challenge Bronze seal in recognition of their dedication, hard work, and achievement,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “SUU is not only ensuring that a more representative population participates in our nation’s democracy, but is educating students to be civic-minded. They are an example to be emulated.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus. By joining the Challenge, campuses commit to convening a campus-wide committee, developing and implementing an action plan to improve democratic engagement, and participate in the NSLVE.

More than 300 campuses, enrolling more than 4 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.

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