Indiana State University
Indiana State University has been selected as one of Washington Monthly’s “2018 America’s Best Colleges For Student Voting.”
A part of “The College Guide and Rankings,” which rates colleges and universities on their contributions to social mobility, research and public service, this is a first-of-its-kind list of the schools doing the most to turn students into citizens.
“One of the most important roles of a state university is to prepare our graduates to be fully engaged citizens. Indiana State takes this responsibility very seriously,” said Nancy Rogers, vice president for University Engagement.
This fall, Indiana State has undertaken a campus-wide campaign to encourage students to register to vote either on-campus or in their home communities. For the past several weeks, university officials have been focused on encouraging voter turnout and providing students opportunities to interact with candidates and learn about their positions on important issues.
“We are thrilled to be able to host a vote center on the ISU campus and grateful to the Vigo County Clerk’s Office for their support of the center,” Rogers said. “For many students, this is their first opportunity to vote in a federal election. We believe if we can help get them to the election center this year, they will become lifelong voters. Our democracy is best served when more — rather then fewer — people vote.”
Ensuring that the nation’s young people and its future leaders are inspired to engage civically is key to strengthening democracy. On many college and university campuses, less than half of eligible student voters exercise their democratic right to cast a ballot in presidential elections.
“With voter registration, education and participation as the centerpiece to the campus get-out-the-vote efforts, Indiana State’s commitment to voter engagement encourages students to develop the civic skills that will help them become informed and engaged citizens on Election Day and in life,” said Carly Schmitt, assistant professor of political science and faculty sponsor of the American Democracy Project at Indiana State. “This designation is an indication of the significant efforts undergone by the campus community to develop student voter engagement.”
Indiana State’s inclusion on the list demonstrates the commitment the university has made to promote civic engagement among the student body, encouraging students to vote and actively participate in community decisions.
“Since voting habits tend to crystallize in young adulthood — vote in one election, and you’re far more likely to do so again — colleges and universities have an unparalleled opportunity to create voters not just for the next election, but for life,” Washington Monthly authors said in a news release. “The colleges that invest in student voting aren’t just helping their Washington Monthly rankings — they’re helping the country.”
To further do its part in improving youth civic engagement, Indiana State participates in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which offers colleges and universities an opportunity to learn their student registration and voting rates.
Indiana State also participates in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national, nonpartisan awards program recognizing colleges and universities for improving civic learning, political engagement and student voting rates. As a part of this initiative, students, faculty and staff have worked together to develop and implement an action plan to improve practice and change culture.