McKendree University Goes ALL IN for Informed Voter Participation

(LEBANON, Ill., September 27, 2016) — McKendree University has joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a nationwide initiative to improve, measure and celebrate efforts to encourage civic engagement and informed participation in the electoral process.

The ALL IN Challenge, a program of Civic Nation, recognizes campuses committed to improving democratic engagement, increasing student voter participation rates, and graduating informed and active citizens. Campuses commit to a set of actions, are recognized for achieving established benchmarks, and may receive awards for exemplary efforts.

McKendree has created a committee to develop and implement a coordinated action plan to increase informed voter participation. The university is holding “Bearcats Vote” registration drives and presidential debate watch parties. At a Constitution Day event on Sept. 16, students could register to vote, get information about absentee voting, and pick up free copies of “The U.S. Constitution and Fascinating Facts About It.” 

“Voting is the bedrock of our democracy. By joining the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, we want to encourage our students to use their voices in the electoral process. But even more, we hope that during their years in college, they will cultivate a practice of being engaged in their communities and beyond, so that once they graduate they will be lifelong responsible citizens,” said Dr. Ann Collins, associate professor of political science.

On Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the university’s Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, she and journalist-author Sarah Kendzior (The View from Fly-over Country, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian) will discuss the current state of U.S. politics, the success of Donald Trump’s campaign and what it could mean for future elections.

“Preparing graduates for their public lives as citizens, members of communities, and professionals in society has historically been a responsibility of higher education,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Challenge. “What we hope to achieve with the ALL IN Challenge is a refocusing on this vital part of higher education’s mission. While the national conversation is currently focused on the 2016 presidential election, this is not a short-term initiative. We are committed to working with institutions over the long-term to lift up best practices and make educating for democratic engagement pervasive.”

McKendree University is a member of the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), a program of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, as well as Illinois Campus Compact. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge works in partnership with Campus Compact, American Democracy Project, NASPA – Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, Rock the Vote and others. For more information about “Bearcats Vote” or ALL IN at McKendree University, contact Dr. Ann Collins at 618-537-6897.