The University of Nevada, Reno has once again earned the designation of a "Voter Friendly Campus" though a program sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), a leading voice for the student affairs profession and the Fair Elections Center's Campus Vote Project.
The Voter Friendly Campus designation program strives to help students overcome present barriers preventing participation in the political process as well as develop a culture of democratic engagement on campus. The University is one of 123 colleges and universities in the country to receive the designation, with a total enrollment of nearly 2 million students in the "Voter Friendly Campus" campaign. The designation is valid through December 2020.
As a participating institution in NASPA's initiative, University campus representatives participate in ongoing trainings to develop, implement and report results for engagement programs that encouraged students to register and vote. Implementation of these programs came about in a variety of different ways.
- ASUN Officers and CSE professional and student staff tabled during orientations and campus events to register students to vote.
- Student government officers coordinated town hall meetings, dialogues, and candidate forums to discuss a variety of issues.
- Partnerships across campus allowed information about absentee ballots, early voting poll locations and deadlines to be distributed to various pockets of students including Res Halls, Club and Organization and various academic classrooms.
- Additionally, voter registration and voting were promoted by way of campus wide texts, neighborhood canvassing, student produced videos and weekly newsletters.
The University was evaluated on its ability to complete a three-step process. The process included writing a campus plan about how they would engage student voters in the fall of 2018, facilitating voter engagement efforts on their campus and writing a final analysis on their efforts. The early voting poll location on campus was used by a record-breaking 4,318 individuals during the mid-term elections in 2018.
The University will continue to encourage students' civic development through thoughtful community partnerships, engaging leadership opportunities and democratic participation. Motivating students to register and vote establishes civic habits that last well beyond the collegiate experience. Incorporating democratic engagement into campus life creates stability for students as they explore their political beliefs. The goal is to drive civic learning and democratic engagement work within the teachings of the academic classroom and with interactions in the community.
To learn more about NASPA and view a complete listing of participating institutions, please visit the NASPA website at naspa.org/.