CMU designated as a Voter Friendly Campus for 2023-2024
Central Michigan University received the designation of a Voter Friendly Campus for the third consecutive year, one of 258 campuses in 38 states and the District of Columbia by Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The initiative recognizes institutions that have planned and implemented practices that encourage their students to register and vote in the 2022 elections and in coming years.
The mission of the 2023 Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster colleges and universities’ efforts to help students overcome barriers in the political process – every year, not just during years featuring federal elections. Central Michigan University was evaluated based on a written plan for how campus partners planned to register, educate, and turnout student voters in 2022, how voter engagement was facilitated on campus, and a final analysis of all efforts.
“Voting is a critical part of the democratic process,” said Erica Johnson, Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at CMU, “We are grateful for the campus and community members who invest in ensuring our next generation of voters are prepared for this responsibility.”
As part of the voter engagement efforts, groups on campus such as the Central Votes Coalition and the Central Votes registered student organization offered a variety of events throughout the academic year. CMU students could register to vote at events such as MainStage, Get Acquainted Day, National Voter Registration Day, and Vote Early Day. Students were also provided with information about how to register to vote online, at the Mt. Pleasant City Clerk’s office, and in their home communities.
Upholding CMU’s mission of preparing students for responsible global citizenship, the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center partnered across campus to provide free of charge stamps for students to mail in absentee ballots and provided non-partisan voter education guides as a resource on statewide candidates and ballot proposals.
“Voting is great,” said Volunteer Center student staff member for Central Civics, graduating senior Kate Ellison from Midland, “but we must also prioritize civic skills, education, and everything in between.’
The Volunteer Center also partnered with the Mt. Pleasant City Clerk to provide access to information and resources needed to make informed decisions at the polls. Students could register to vote in-person with the clerk at the Volunteer Center after the online deadline passed and turn in absentee ballots in-person.
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses, collectively serving over 3.5 million students. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes 49 Minority Serving Intuitions and 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as 41 Community Colleges.
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.
Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization that works to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.