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State of the University: The Year of Civic Engagement

University of Pennsylvania Almanac Council:

Penn Leads the Vote was reestablished after the problem of Penn voter turnout in 2016 and before then, which was slightly lower than the average rate, as these data show. As Harrison mentioned, Penn Leads the Vote was founded in 2004 but it was dormant from 2014 until 2018, when the Netter Center reestablished PLTV to solve this problem.

Since 2018, we’ve made significant progress in improving civic engagement on campus and we’re hoping that we can continue this trend this fall. Two things I’ll point out is that we increased on-campus voter turnout by 484 percent in the fall of 2018, and we are hoping that we can increase this number even more in November. Also Penn is the only Ivy League school to be designated a voter friendly campus by NASPA and the Campus Vote Project.

Penn Leads the Vote has a team of 12 paid student-staff members and we have a few new positions this year that we’ve been really happy to include, which includes a diversity and inclusion coordinator, a communications fellow and a graduate student coordinator. This highlights that we’re really trying to engage with the whole Penn community. Beyond this staff, we also have 95 trained volunteers this semester.

Read the full article here.


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