Cleveland State University received a gold seal as part of the 2019 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The initiative seeks to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing voting participation among college students, and CSU was honored for achieving a student voting rate between 40% and 49%.
Student participation in elections has increased from the 2014 midterm elections to the recent 2018 midterms. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19% to 40%.
“Cleveland State University is proud to receive this national recognition for our voter engagement efforts,” notes Anita Ruf-Young, program coordinator with the University’s Office of Civic Engagement. “We are firmly committed to assisting our students in becoming engaged citizens and active participants in the democratic process.”
CSU’s Office of Civic Engagement has three Democracy Fellows working on campus registering students to vote and has formed strong partnerships with organizations such as the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, the Campus Election Engagement Project and the Campus Vote Project with the goals of establishing strong voting habits early and increasing civic engagement among CSU students. Cleveland State’s voter rate increased to 48.4% in 2018, a 24.8% increase from 2014 and almost 10% higher than the national average for all institutions.
“We are excited to honor Cleveland State University with an ALL IN Challenge gold seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” adds Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Institutions like CSU are changing the culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.
More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.