April 30, 2023

MSU Designated a Voter Friendly Campus

Michigan State University (MSU) was recently named a Voter Friendly Campus by Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The initiative recognizes institutions that have planned and implemented practices that encourage students to register and vote while also working to overcome barriers that limit participation in the political process.

“Democratic engagement is core to the student experience at MSU and we have held this designation since it was first offered in 2017,” said Renee Brown, co-director of MSUvote Initiative. “We have a robust campus plan for increasing both student voter education and participation, and a strong and effective campus and community alliance.”

MSU was evaluated based on a written plan for student registration, education, and overall voter turnout in 2022. One of MSUvote’s main initiatives was a collaboration with the City of East Lansing Clerk’s Office to offer satellite sites allowing on-campus voter registration. This was supplemented by a Campus Voting Summit in partnership with the Secretary of State’s office. 

Erin Kramer, Democratic Engagement Coordinator with the Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), said educational materials were made available to students across campus. “We promoted access to extensive, comprehensive sources of information for Spartans to learn about the voting process in a nonpartisan way.”
Additionally, MSUvote provided rides to Brody Hall for students interested in registering to vote, hosted resource tables at various events, and gave away MSUvote t-shirts to relay the importance of voting.

Suchitra Webster, co-director with Brown of the MSUvote Initiative, said supporting students to become engaged citizens is one of MSU’s objectives. “We see this as a dress rehearsal for living an engaged, meaningful life,” she said. “We help students civilly exchange ideas with one another, while working on behalf of an issue or candidate.”

MSU is one of many colleges/universities across the nation to receive the Voter Friendly Designation, reaching a total number of students tallying nearly 3.5 million. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes 49 Minority Serving Institutions and 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as 41 Community Colleges. To learn more about the designation process, visit the Voter Friendly Campus’ website.

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