CVP provides resources for students and administrators on campuses to develop and enhance democratic engagement programming. The resources below are guides from everything to voter registration drives and engagement activities for students, to guidance on developing student engagement plans and handbook language for administrators.
If you need help with something not found in the documents below please contact CVP so we can help.
CVP developed the Student Voter Engagement Handbook to provide step-by-step guidance for driven students to raise awareness around voting at their community college or university. It provides a tested format for you to work with peers, administrators, and community members to engage fellow students. In the 2014 midterms, only 19.9% of 18-29-year-olds turned out to vote, the lowest turnout out in 40 years, however 2018 estimates saw the turnout of 18-29-year-olds jump to a historic high of 31%. We believe we can continue this improving trend by making the most fundamental tools of campus organizing free and available to all students across the country.
Save paper. Download and print the individual sections of the Student Engagement Handbook here:
Administrators & Faculty Resources
Administrators and Faculty Resources
CVP has a variety of resources for administrators and faculty including Institutionalizing Voter Engagement: A Guide.
The college community is a place for students to seek information and become civically and democratically engaged, but they often face practical hurdles that keep them from voting. College administrators play an important role in making sure students are empowered with the information they need to register and vote. The Higher Education Act requires institutes of higher education to provide students with voter registration materials.
To make real change it is critical for students, campus administrators and faculty, and election officials to work together and coordinate activities that engage and motivate student voters.
Young adults (ages 18-29) made up about 21% of the voting eligible population in 2014, but voter turnout for this demographic has reached record lows in recent years. In midterm elections like last year and in off-year elections like 2015, local offices are on the ballot and can be decided by a matter of a few votes. Local offices and issues have a direct impact on a student’s home and college community. Officials make decisions on topics like student debt, funding for higher education, and the economy.
The Voter Friendly Campus designation helps administrators develop a strategy to engage students and set clear goals so a path can be created in advance of upcoming elections. These activities can be institutionalized for years to come, keeping students engaged as they enter, and move through their time at school.
Higher education’s focus on civic and democratic engagement not only helps students understand their impact on those around them, it creates better students. Encouraging and assisting students to vote establishes participatory habits that last well beyond their collegiate experience. Incorporating democratic engagement into campus life creates structure and stability for students as they explore what their political beliefs are, and how they would like to engage in the democratic process. Each of the suggested activities is a successful best practice from partner institutions. Every academic institution has a different student population, administrative structure, and electoral regulations but the planning process and recommendations are easily adapted to any campus and reflect work with a range of two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions of higher education from an array of different states.