March 22, 2021
Susquehanna University is designated as a Voter Friendly Campus by the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
The national, nonpartisan organizations evaluated Susquehanna on how the university mobilized student voters and facilitated voter engagement efforts on its campus in the fall 2020 election – all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic.
“Susquehanna made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education through its pointed efforts to educate our students on the democratic process,” said Miranda Carrasquillo, coordinator of the David ’69 and Sharon Johnson Center for Civic Engagement. “Through our on-campus efforts we encouraged them to become a part of the process, not just during a presidential election, but every election.”
As part of Susquehanna’s effort to engage students in the democratic process, the university launched Achieve. Lead. Vote!, a nonpartisan initiative that expands upon the university’s mission and values of the university’s motto, “Achieve. Lead. Serve.” Achieve. Lead. Vote! seeks to streamline, demystify and educate students on ballot issues, and election and voting processes at all levels.
To bolster these efforts, Susquehanna became a member of the Pennsylvania Student Voting Coalition, a nonpartisan, student and professional network representing various institutions of higher education across the state. PASVC members are focused on driving student voter education, registration and turnout rates at their respective institutions.
The Voter Friendly Campus designation, which was earned by just over 200 campuses in 37 states and the District of Columbia, is valid through December 2022.
Susquehanna was also awarded a grant from the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition to fund a student fellowship position to boost engagement on campus in time for the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. Student fellows leveraged peer-to-peer outreach and had regular Zoom meetings with their campus supervisor.
Additionally, Susquehanna participated in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a friendly competition among participating campuses that incentivized institutions of higher education to increase campus voter registration and turnout rates.
Susquehanna’s Achieve. Lead. Vote! organizers are focusing their next round of messaging efforts on the upcoming May elections. Susquehanna is also anticipating a comprehensive report from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement that will include student voting data for 2020 to allow the university to evaluate the success of the above-mentioned efforts.