Belmont has again earned the Voter Friendly Campus designation for 2023-2024. The designation comes from Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The Voter Friendly Campus initiative, established in 2016 as a tool to enable campuses to develop comprehensive voter engagement, education and turnout plans. This is the second year the Voter Friendly Campus initiative named Belmont a voter-friendly campus and Belmont is one of only four campuses to receive this designation for ‘23-24.
Belmont’s Student Government Association (SGA) formed a coalition to write and implement a campus plan. SGA brought awareness to campus in several ways including setting up a table with voting resources and information at campus events such as “It Must Be Wednesday” and the Student Organization fair,
“The Voter Friendly Campus designation gives us something to aspire to and helps keep us accountable to our mission of equipping our students to make the world a better place,” director of the Office of Service-Learning Tim Stewart said. “It also provides us with multiple resources and opportunities to promote voter registration, education and participation.”
In its first cycle to oversee Voter Friendly Campus initiative proceedings, SGA managed to earn this designation amid significant transitions including a transition of leadership within the student organization and a departmental transition from the Office of Service-Learning to Student Government.
Using data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) and PowerPoint Presentation “Votes and Ballots” software provided by the Tennessee Campus Democracy Network, SGA identified two focus areas for the future: freshman engagement and outreach to Belmont’s diversity, equity and inclusion-focused organizations.
SGA has plans to incorporate volunteering as a poll worker for service credit, promote more democratic and civic engagement through social media and establish a “Game Plan” program for the 2024 Presidential election among other things in the upcoming school year.
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.
Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization that works to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.