As a testament to the college’s efforts to increase democratic engagement on campus, Alfred State is now one of 83 campuses in 23 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.
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process.
Alfred State was evaluated based on a campus plan about how it would engage student voters in the fall of 2016, how it facilitated voter engagement efforts on campus, and a final analysis of its efforts. The designation is valid through December 2018.
As part of its effort to be designated a Voter Friendly Campus, Alfred State registered hundreds of students to vote during new student orientation and special events, shared non-partisan resources to develop a greater understanding of candidates, and partnered with ACES (Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services) to hold a politically themed lunch on Election Day to inspire students to vote. In addition, there is now a formal plan for student voter engagement and education for future years.
Jonathan Hilsher, director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Alfred State, said the college has made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in democracy, and is excited to continue engaging students through 2017, 2018, and beyond.
“We’re delighted to achieve this designation,” Hilsher said. “It demonstrates one aspect of Alfred State’s commitment to civic engagement and developing leaders prepared to make a difference.”
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.