Editorial | Indiana State University

Today, Indiana State University was recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) among the 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting.

The ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting recognizes colleges and universities that make a conscious effort to increase student turnout. The ISU joins a group of 394 colleges and universities recognized for their efforts to strengthen bipartisan democratic engagement in the 2022 election.

In Indiana, ISU earned the designation along with Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University South Bend, Indiana University Southeast, IUPUI, and Purdue University.

“At Indiana State University, we are committed to preparing students to become active and engaged participants in our democracy,” said ISU President Dr. Deborah J Curtis. “We are proud of this recognition as we continue to fulfill our very important mission of educating the next generation of leaders in our state and nation.”

The appointment to the ISU was a result of efforts on campus to advocate for student voting, specifically increasing student voting rates. A campus-wide task force was convened to centralize student voter registration, voter education, and voter turnout capabilities. The university participated in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) to measure student turnout and developed and implemented a data-driven action plan. This action plan as well as the NSLVE results were shared with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.

“The award reflects years of fine work by the ISU American Democracy Project and numerous campus partners, including SGA, the Department of Political Science, University College, Campus Life and many others, in pursuing ISU’s goal of delivering an engaging degree, citizens feel deeply committed to,” said Dr. Nancy Rogers, vice president for university engagement. “There is a lot at stake for young people in every local, state and federal election. At ISU, we work every day to help students recognize and use their own agency to influence the future of our democracy.”

This work is being driven by students as part of the American Democracy Project (STATE for ADP), administered by ISU’s Center for Community Engagement. Her initial focus was on registering students to vote before the deadline. After the deadline, they shifted their focus to increasing voter turnout. Throughout the year, ADP offers programs to help students become familiar with important political issues and reflect on how their participation in the democratic process affects those issues.

“I am so proud of all the work STATE for ADP has done for student voting on campus,” said President Emilee Hartzler. “Students’ voices matter and deserve to be heard. I am happy to see that this mission has been so successful. Making the campaign pledge is the first step to better informed and civic engagement.”

Jazmin Cornejo, STATE for ADP Vice President, said: “The voting tables here at the ISU had a greater purpose than just registering to vote. It was about answering questions that students brought to the table to understand why we need to vote or to understand how their single vote could make a difference. It was a great opportunity to help students discover the importance of voting and take the first steps to understand that their vote is now influencing their future.”