Partnership with FDEV and the Office of Civic Engagement

This Tuesday tip is brought to you by Dr. Ann Schulte, Director of Civic Engagement.

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is a signature initiative of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. IDHE is an applied research center focused on college and university student political learning and participation in democracy. IDHE researchers study voting, campus conditions for political learning and discussion, closing equity gaps in participation, and increasing student agency and participation. 

Since NSLVE’s launch in 2013, more than 1,000 colleges and universities have signed up to receive their voting rates for the federal elections. Chico State’s participation in this study has helped to build a robust database for research on more than 10 million de-identified student records for each election year. We receive our campus data after each federal election comparing our voter turnout rates from one election to the next. You can read more about the study methodology at Tufts University.

As a result of this study, we know, for example, that in 2018 approximately 70% of our students were registered to vote, but just over half of them actually voted giving us a 39% voter rate (which is the average across other universities). We also know that approximately 70% of those students voted by mail. The 2018 data also tells us which majors had higher turnout (e.g. Education and History) and lower turnout (e.g. Engineering and Business Management). 

Reference: Institute for Democracy & Higher Education: National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement. (2019). 2014 and 2018 report for CSU Chico. Medford, MA.

The Office of Faculty Development and the Office of Civic Engagement are partnering to offer a Friday Forum focusing on educating students on the importance to participate in both national and local politics through voting. The Forum – Vote Like Your Community Depends On It! – will be held in Zoom, on Friday September 18th, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. 

In this session, participating faculty will develop ideas to educate their students about how their vote has impact at every level of government. In November’s election, students should be prepared to think about how each item on their ballot may impact policy in their major or profession or around issues that are important to them.   

A panel of faculty members will share how they educate students to think about how they can vote to shape policy at several levels. Participants will engage in discussions about examples in their own discipline and will develop ideas for sharing this content with their students in their fall class. 

Important dates:

If you are eligible, make sure you are registered to vote or update your new address so your ballot will find you. Learn how everyone in California will vote by mail. Then, sign up to track your ballot.

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