Alfred University recognized as ‘Voter Friendly Campus’
Alfred University | 3/01/19
Alfred University is among a group of 123 campuses in 31 states designated as a 2019-2020 “Voter Friendly Campus” through a program jointly sponsored by Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and the Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP).
ALFRED, NY – Alfred University is among a group of 123 campuses in 31 states designated as a 2019-2020 “Voter Friendly Campus” through a program jointly sponsored by Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and the Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP).
The program recognizes university and college campuses for engaging their student body and promoting voter registration and voting as part of their institutional mission. The goal of the Voter Friendly Campus designation program is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process and develop a culture of democratic engagement on campus.
Throughout 2018, campus representatives participated in trainings to develop, implement and report results for engagement programs that encouraged their students to register and vote. Campuses were evaluated on their ability to complete a three-step process. These included writing a campus plan about how they would engage student voters in the fall of 2018, facilitating voter engagement efforts on their campus, and writing a final analysis on their efforts.
“I am so excited to see Alfred University designated again as a Voter Friendly Campus,” remarked Patricia Debertolis, associate dean of students. “The work and collaboration of our team really allowed us to be successful in securing this designation.”
Among Alfred University’s voter friendly initiatives undertaken in 2018 were: having university representatives meet with officials from the Allegany County Board of Elections to gain a better understanding of procedures for registering college students to vote; partnering with the local chapter of League of Women Voters; engaging in regular campus-wide communications, reminding students of important dates, such as deadlines for submitting absentee ballot, or directing them to on-line links for helping them meet ballot requirements for their home states; and putting up signage directing students to local polling places.
Alfred University runs a voter registration table at fall new student orientation, and holds voter registration events during the academic year.
“By encouraging our students to register and vote in elections helps us in educating our students on the importance of participating in the democratic process,” Debertolis said. “I am hopeful that we are making and impact with our students and helping them to advocate for their views and beliefs.”
Institutions recognized as 2019-2020 Voter Friendly Campuses represented a range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses. The designation is valid through December 2020. Alfred University was also named in NASPA-Campus Vote Project’s inaugural 2017-18 “Voter Friendly Campuses” listing. The University was recognized for its efforts to register, educate, and turn out their students in the 2016 election and continued get-out-the-vote efforts following the election.
Officials with NASPA and Campus Vote Project lauded institutions for placing a priority on getting their campus involved in the voting process.
“Institutionalizing voter engagement, registration, and turnout efforts on college campuses is no easy feat for institutions of higher learning; especially in today’s political climate wherein many communities are polarized.” said NASPA President Kevin Kruger. “With the second iteration of the Voter Friendly Campus program, we’ve learned that campuses that have been most successful in fostering a campus climate inclusive of democratic participation do so by intentionally including multiple facets of the institutions’ community in fostering the skills, knowledge, and dispositions supporting students’ civic agency.”
Added Mike Burns, National Director of Campus Vote Project, a project of Fair Elections Center: “Our work at Campus Vote Project and the development of the Voter Friendly Campus designation with NASPA allows us to continue to foster the civic mission of higher education to prepare the next generation of citizen leaders.”