The Voter Friendly Campus designation program was started through a partnership between Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA’s NASPA LEAD Initiative in 2016. This partnership was formed as a tool to support higher education institutions fulfilling the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which necessitates that institutions distribute voter registration forms to their students. Due to the lack of instructions and guidance regarding this requirement, the Voter Friendly Campus designation process was developed in an effort to further the work of the Students Learn Students Vote coalition in creating more measurable and manageable guidelines for institutions to follow in order to create a more voter-friendly campus.
The goal of the Voter Friendly Campus program is to help institutions develop democratic engagement action plans that coordinate administrators, faculty, and student organizations in civic and electoral engagement. Participation for the inaugural cohort of intuitions in 2016 enabled campuses to develop comprehensive voter engagement, education, and turnout plans. The program provided expert-led guidance for higher education institutions to offer programs and services relevant to their respective states that enhance the student experience in regards to political engagement. By participating in this program, administrators and faculty developed a strategy to engage students and set clear goals in advance of upcoming elections.
It is the belief of this program that incorporating democratic engagement into the collegiate experience 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.
NASPA is proud to partner with the Campus Vote Project to offer this opportunity to institutions interested in engaging students, faculty, administration, and community partners in the democratic process. This program is endorsed by our colleagues within in the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.
Phase 1: Voter Friendly Campus Designation Statement accepted until 350 institutions have applied or February 15th, 2024 - Priority Deadline.
Phase 2: Strengthening American Democracy: A Guide for Developing an Action Plan to Increase Civic Learning, Political Engagement, and Voting Rates Among College Students due May 31st, 2024.
Phase 3: Implementation of new steps to encourage registration and voting ongoing through November 5th, 2024.
Phase 4: Voter Friendly Campus Reports due February 15th, 2025.
Phase 5: Voter Friendly Campus Designation announced March 2024.
Note: Designation will be valid March 2025 - December 2026.