Northeastern Illinois University is one of 83 campuses in 23 states that have been designated as Voter Friendly Campuses. The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encouraged their students to register and vote in the 2016 general election and in the coming years.
The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. Northeastern was evaluated based on a campus plan about how the University would engage student voters in the fall of 2016, how it facilitated voter engagement efforts, and a final analysis of those efforts. The designation is valid through December 2018.
As part of Northeastern’s effort to be designated a Voter Friendly Campus, the University developed an intentional approach to voter registration, voter education and ballot access, and encouraged members of the University community to get out the vote in the November 2016 election. This included having an active voter registration presence at a wide range of programs and activities from late August through mid-October, distribution of nonpartisan candidate guides and working with the City of Chicago to identify two University locations that served as early voting sites.
Northeastern’s voting work was further supported by its continuing participation in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE). Northeastern was one of the inaugural participants in NSLVE in 2012 and has used the data from the study to refine its work in promoting student engagement in the electoral process.
“Participating in the Voter Friendly Campus initiative provided a wonderful opportunity for Northeastern to identify strategies to engage students and other members of the University community in the electoral process and learn about best practices from a wide range of campuses across the country,” Senior Director for Academic and Community Partnerships Kris Pierre said. “Receiving this designation is a tribute to the work of faculty, staff and students from all divisions of the University to actively engage our students and to prepare them to be active citizens in their communities.”
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural and urban campuses, with a total enrollment of nearly 1.4 million students.