SUU Included on Washington Monthly's Student Voting Honor Roll

Published: October 27, 2021 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU added to Student Voting Honor Roll by Washington MonthlyEach year Washington Monthly releases an honor roll listing the colleges doing the most to turn their students into politically engaged citizens. This year, Southern Utah University was listed as one of the best colleges for student voting. SUU was one of only three universities in Utah listed on the Honor Roll, alongside Weber State and the University of Utah.

Washington Monthly’s honor roll is determined using a five point scale. Each school is judged by its completion of the following; first, to be honored on the honor roll, a school must have submitted an ALL IN action plan for 2018 and 2020, schools must also be enrolled in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) and have their NSLVE data for 2016 and 2018 publicly available through the ALL IN online database.

At SUU, engagement in political discourse is not only possible, but encouraged by a variety of clubs as well as student polls, and voting is listed among the University’s traditions, alongside Homecoming festivities and academic traditions.

"As far as voter registration and voter turnout, I think removing all barriers is best,” said Heather Garcia, director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Office. “I love what the Leavitt Center does with tabling in the Mall Hallway to help encourage registering to vote there on site. This makes it easy in a space that students are already engaged in to increase voter turnout.”

The Student Involvement and Leadership (STIL) Office advocates for and provides a voice to each student to ensure successful and meaningful experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Throughout the past year, STIL has held a variety of events intended to bring students together and increase engagement with on-campus and off-campus issues.

“We work closely with the Leavitt Center as they engage on campus with students regarding voting turnout and getting registered, becoming an educated voter, and increasing voter engagement at the local and national level,” said Garcia. “I believe they compete in the Campus Cup which is a challenge across the state that is aimed towards increasing voter turnout.”

Among the many ways SUU encourages political discourse is through the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service, an on-campus resource that serves as a hub for leadership training, citizenship education, humanitarian service, and public policy research.

One of the Leavitt Center’s key efforts to educate students on political conversations is Pizza and Politics, a weekly event that features a different discussion point each week. During Pizza and Politics, students gather to hear the variety of sides that may surround one issue. During this past year, Pizza and Politics have featured conversations including ones about immigration, infrastructure, and voting rights.

Going forward, SUU intends to further encourage students to engage with discussions on a worldwide scale. Elections are an integral part of democracy and provide us an opportunity to hold our elected officials accountable. Truly every vote counts, whether in federal, state, local or SUU elections.

“We want to make sure voting (registering and the actual process) is as easy as possible. My next suggestion is to find a way to vote here on campus,” Garcia said.

At SUU, student involvement is a high priority. For more information about STIL and the Leavitt Center and to see their schedule of events including Pizza and Politics, visit their websites.

Tags: Leavitt Center Student Life

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