At the first-ever ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony, held October 19, to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates, Central Lakes College received a silver seal for achieving a student rate between 60 percent and 69 percent.
“The Central Lakes College Student Senate is proud to receive the silver seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for our voter engagement work in the 2016 election,” said Erich Heppner, Director of Student Life at CLC. “Recent elections have energized our student body to be more involved in the civic process, and we expect even higher voter turnout results in future elections. The 2016 election set the stage for our students to begin advocating for issues that are important to college students in our state and beyond. The Student Senate has effectively ridden the energy created by the 2016 election into the 2018 midterm election, and we are proud of our voter engagement work that set new highs for voter registration and hopefully voter turnout amongst our student body. We would like to thank the Brainerd Lakes Area League of Women Voters and LeadMN for their help in the previous election cycles. The Student Senate will continue to be involved at the local level through the promotion of upcoming caucuses and our involvement in the Gorden Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government.”
Student participation in elections has increased in the past few years. A recent report, “Democracy Counts: A Report on U.S. College and University Student Voting” from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy in Higher Education, shows that between the 2012 presidential election, and the 2016 presidential election, student voting went from 45.1 percent of eligible voters in 2012 to 48.3 percent in 2016 – a 7 percent improvement.
“I am proud to honor Central Lakes College with an ALL IN Challenge silver seal in recognition of their dedication, hard work, and achievement,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Central Lakes College is not only ensuring that a more representative population participates in our nation’s democracy, but is educating students to be civic-minded. They are an example to be emulated.”
The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program. 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. By joining the Challenge, campuses commit to:
* Convening a campus-wide committee that includes members from academic affairs, student affairs, and the student body, as well as any other relevant stakeholders;
* Developing and implementing an action plan to improve democratic engagement;
* Participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) in order to measure student voting rates; and
* Sharing their campus’ action plan and NSLVE results in order to be eligible for a recognition seal and/or awards.
More than 300 campuses, enrolling more than 4 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.