National initiative seeks 100 percent voter participation by college students in 2020 elections
BOSTON - UMass President Marty Meehan announced today he has joined more than 193 college and university presidents and chancellors committing to 100 percent student voter registration, engagement and turnout through the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
“Voting is one of the most important and fundamental duties we have as members of a democratic society – voting is about being heard and helping to set a course for the future, and I am proud to join with higher education leaders from across the nation in urging every student to make their voices heard in the coming elections,” Meehan said.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase student engagement in the election process. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value.
More than 680 campuses have now joined ALL IN since its launch in summer 2016. The higher education leaders pledging to increase civic engagement on their campuses represent 49 states and the District of Columbia, historically black colleges and universities, community colleges and other two-and four-year institutions, with a reach of more than 7.5 million students.
College students in particular have voted at one of the lowest rates of any group in the United States. By signing the ALL IN pledge President Meehan has committed the UMass system to working with the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Medical School campuses to encourage civic learning and lifelong voting habits. President Meehan discussed voting as “best way to be heard and to bring about change” in a commentary posted on Medium today.
“We are mounting a collaborative effort to ensure that the 70,000 students of the University of Massachusetts participate in this process,” Meehan noted. “This is about the paramount importance of voting and of establishing a commitment to lifelong democratic engagement. We are mounting a strictly non-partisan effort. This isn’t about advocacy for any candidate or party -- it’s about democracy.”
The ALL IN Challenge is supporting the Boston Votes initiative endorsed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as part of the Civic Cities initiative. Fall 2020 plans include a set of virtual voter registration and turnout parties focused around National Voter Registration Day on September 22 and Vote Early Day on October 24.
CAMPUS VOTER PARTICIPATION WEBSITES AND CONTACTS