Campus Election Engagement Project

Engaging Your Campus in the Elections: Six Key Ways to Act

Posted on September 1, 2014

Engaging Your Campus in the Elections:
Six Key Ways to Act
How do we engage America’s 20 million students in our nation’s elections?

The Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) worked with over 500 campuses in 2008 and 750 in the 2012 election cycle to do exactly that. Drawing on our hands-on experience with students, administrators, and faculty throughout the country, we’ve compiled this list of effective nonpartisan approaches that colleges and universities can use to engage their campus communities. We hope you’ll use this resource to help your students register to vote, learn about issues and candidates, volunteer in campaigns, and get to the polls, all while ensuring their votes count despite all the obstacles.

In the 2010 midterm election, four out of five students stayed home. But in 2013, our off-year elections pilot project in Virginia found that schools implementing our approaches could get increases of 40% or more in student voting rates. Successfully engaging your campus community will depend on collaborating with others to follow through on your existing approaches and complement them with effective new ones. You don’t have to follow all of these steps to make a difference on your campus, but it’s important to address all the key areas of electoral engagement—choosing approaches that fit your campus best, planning them at appropriate points in the election cycle and in your academic year, and delegating tasks to create a sustainable effort.

Think of this as your election engagement checklist. In all cases, the earlier you start the better, especially for areas that take significant institutional planning.

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