Mount St. Joseph University is one of 83 campuses throughout the United States designated as a “Voter Friendly Campus.” The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in the 2016 general election 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 practice. The Mount’s campus was evaluated based on a campus plan about how it would engage student voters, how it facilitated voter engagement efforts, and a final analysis of the efforts.
“Voter registration was our biggest success,” said Keith Lanser, Coordinator for Service Learning at the Mount. “Not only did we exceed our goal for this fall, but we increased fall voter registration numbers from 2015 by 184%.”
In addition to voter registration drives, the Mount’s Student Government Association hosted Presidential debate watch parties and election viewing party, as well as hosted an issue forum on the topic of immigration. The Mount hosted a shuttle to polling location inside the I-275 loop on Election Day. Students in EDU 384-Methods of Teaching Social Studies facilitated an experience for the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio for local girl scouts to earn their civics badge.
“Voting is a critical essential element of what it means to be a citizen in a democracy,” said Lanser. “We want all of our students to not only be successful in their careers, but also to be active citizens in their communities.”
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses, with a total enrollment of nearly 1.4 million students.