PITTSBURGH: Chatham University has been recognized as a university committed to increasing college student voting rates with the recognition of a “silver seal” award from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Chatham was recognized at the ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony held in October for achieving a student voting rate of 64.1% in the 2016 election (an increase from 58% in 2012).
“Our institution is proud to have received this national recognition for our exceptional student voter rate,” says Emily Fidago, the Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Engagement. “Our administrators, staff, faculty, and students are committed to being responsible and engaged citizens who work together to further our democracy.”
Chatham’s growth in student voting participation parallels a national trend of increased student participation in elections. A recent report, “Democracy Counts: A Report on U.S. College and University Student Voting” from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy in Higher Education, shows that between the 2012 presidential election and the 2016 presidential election, student voting went from 45.1% of eligible voters in 2012 to 48.3% in 2016 – a 7% improvement.
“I am proud to honor Chatham University with an ALL IN Challenge Silver seal in recognition of their dedication, hard work, and achievement,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Chatham University is not only ensuring that a more representative population participates in our nation’s democracy, but is educating students to be civic-minded. They are an example to be emulated.”
The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus. By joining the Challenge, campuses commit to:
- Convening a campus-wide committee that includes members from academic affairs, student affairs, and the student body, as well as any other relevant stakeholders;
- Developing and implementing an action plan to improve democratic engagement;
- Participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) in order to measure student voting rates; and
- Sharing their campus’ action plan and NSLVE results in order to be eligible for a recognition seal and/or awards.
More than 300 campuses, enrolling more than 4 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.