Building civic engagement at CMU

Student voting is on the rise; campus partners work to continue the trend

| Author: Ari Harris

Central Michigan University faculty, staff, students and community members in the Central Votes Coalition have been working to increase civic engagement among students, and their efforts are paying off.

According to data from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, student civic engagement through voting more than doubled at CMU from 2014 to 2018.

And while the news is good, coalition members say there's still work to do to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship.

Jodi Brookins-Fisher, faculty member in the School of Health Sciences, and teacher education professor emeritus Norma Bailey said students still face several obstacles when it comes to casting a ballot.

Students may lack time to cast their vote because they are in class or working, and some may have trouble registering. They also may be unaware of important details such as where they are registered, polling place hours, or voting and registration dates, Brookins-Fisher said.

To address the challenges, Central Votes; campus partners including Student Government Association, Residence Life, the Leadership Institute and the Volunteer Center; and community partners such as the Mount Pleasant Area Diversity Group and the League of Women Voters are increasing voter education and outreach activities, Bailey said.

Primary is right around the corner

Michigan's Tuesday, March 10, presidential primary occurs during the university's spring break. Students can take steps now to ensure they're registered and ready to vote.

Written by University Communications intern Shiyao Liu.

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