March 28, 2017
West Chester University has become one of 83 campuses in 23 states designated as a "Voter Friendly Campus."
Led by national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the initiative 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 process. West Chester was evaluated based on a campus plan about how we would engage student voters in the fall of 2016, how we facilitated voter engagement efforts on our campus, and a final analysis of our efforts.The designation is valid through December 2018.
West Chester University had several goals to carry out democratic engagement in 2016, including:
As part of our effort to be designated a voter friendly campus, WCU took the following steps:
West Chesterhas made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in our democracy and is excited to continue engaging students through 2017, 2018, and beyond.
"Faculty, staff, and administrators felt a responsibility toward arming our students with the knowledge to think critically about today's pressing social problems and encouraged students to both vote and engage with their communities," noted Jodi Roth-Saks, director of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs. "Voter education and political dialogues were popping up all over campus. Chris Stangl from the department of political science and I took a step back and decided we needed to assist staff and faculty with collaborating. After all, teaching civic responsibility is one of the most important things we can do as educators."
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.
The Fair Elections Legal Network's Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.