AC’s student participation in elections rose from 9.7 percent in the 2014 midterms to 26.5 percent in the 2018 midterm election – a 16.8-percent increase – according to data gathered by the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE).
NSLVE is a research initiative of Tufts University. Each year, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge uses NSLVE data to assess and acknowledge democratic engagement among colleges and universities that participate in the Challenge.
“Seeing the level of our students’ engagement in the electoral process rise so dramatically is really exciting,” said Aaron Faver, instructor of social sciences, who entered AC in the Democracy Challenge.
“It’s gratifying because we strive to produce civic-minded graduates,” he said. “This is a clear indication that our College is increasingly more engaged in issues concerning our community, state and country.”
Bronze-level Seals were awarded to colleges and universities that exhibited voter turnout in the 2018 midterm election of between 20-29 percent.
Escalating levels of recognition include Silver, Gold and Platinum, and Faver says he believes AC may soon achieve one of those loftier classifications.
“We already doing a lot to increase our voter turnout for the 2020 general election,” he said. “For one thing, we have a group of faculty, staff and students on campus who are laser focused on getting more students registered to vote this upcoming year for both primaries in the spring and general election in the fall.”
Additionally, said Faver, the College conducted a highly successful Civics Week celebration last spring, and the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department now has a podcast dedicated to politics and critical community issues.
“Our podcast is called “Life in in Bomb City,” and it has a steadily increasing number of listeners,” Faver said. “These are really exciting times at AC.”