Southeast Missouri State University has been awarded a Silver Seal in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for excellence in student voter engagement.
Southeast was recognized during the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony Nov. 12 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The ceremony honored colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates. Southeast received the Silver Seal for achieving a 2018 campus voting rate between 30% and 39% in the 2018 midterm election.
Southeast’s student voting rate was 36.1%, an increase of more than 19% from 2014.
“Our institution is proud to receive this national recognition for our efforts,” said Dr. Bruce Skinner, associate vice president for student life at Southeast. “Our faculty, staff, administrators, and students are committed to working together to increase engagement, and graduate civic-minded students prepared to solve the country, and the world’s, most pressing challenges.”
Results of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge indicate student participation in elections has increased nationally from the 2014 midterm election to last year’s midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 percentage points from 19% to 40%.
“We are excited to honor Southeast with an ALL IN Challenge silver seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like Southeast are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.
More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.
Skinner reminds the campus that Southeast’s Office of Student Life, in partnership with SEMO Votes, is sponsoring voter registration booths for Southeast faculty, staff and students who would like assistance in registering to vote or applying for an absentee ballot. Voter registration booths are available Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 at Catapult Creative House; Dec. 4 in the University Center; and Nov. 20 in the Kenneth and Jeanine Dobbins River Campus Center near St. Vincent Commons.
A local nonprofit, non-partisan group will provide assistance and answer any questions. Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students who do not reside in Missouri to visit the booths if they need help applying for an absentee ballot.