Friday, 09 April 2021 16:11

UNCP earns 'Voter Friendly Campus' designation

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UNCP earns 'Voter Friendly Campus' designation RO file photo

PEMBROKE — UNC Pembroke is one of over 235 campuses in 37 states and the District of Columbia recently designated as a "Voter Friendly Campus." 

The initiative, led by national, nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center's Campus Vote Project 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 2020 elections 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. UNCP was evaluated based on a campus plan about how the university would register, educate and turn out student voters in 2020, how voter engagement efforts on campus were facilitated and a final analysis of university voter efforts–all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022.  

At UNCP, the initiative was led by the Office of Community and Civic Engagement. "This designation speaks to our institution's commitment to engaging students in educational experiences that help them recognize their impact through active and engaged citizenship. Important parts of this process are educating them about the importance of voting, helping them register and getting them to the polls—we are committed to all three," explained Director of Community and Civic Engagement Christie Poteet. 

The programs and initiatives on campus were led by Student Service Leaders Joseph Brinkley and Kobi Kelley and Democracy Fellow Devin Greene as a part of the UNCP Votes coalition and in partnership with NCPIRG and UNCP SGA. The students hosted several events across campus, educating students about the voting process and trained other student leaders on registering students to vote. Weekly social media updates with voter information were posted and regular educational programs through Citizen U were hosted where students could share information about the voting process. Student volunteers contacted over 2,300 registered student voters and asked them to pledge to vote, developed social media challenges and provided early voting and voting day shuttles. 

Community and Civic Engagement has made a strong statement about higher education's civic mission to prepare students to be engaged participants in democracy. It is exciting to continue engaging students through 2021, 2022 and beyond. 

Dalton Hoffer, who led the voter-friendly team on campus shared, "UNCP is dedicated to ensuring our students are active and engaged citizens and this designation is a clear representation of the hard work of our students, faculty and staff to educate, register and mobilize voters. Our campus community values the power of voting and students using their voice to make positive change in our communities. I am proud of the student leaders over UNCP Votes that have dedicated their time to empower their peers on the importance of voting." 

Last modified on Friday, 09 April 2021 16:14