McKendree University Earns 2019-2020 Voter Friendly Campus Designation

(LEBANON, Ill., March 1, 2019) — McKendree University has been designated a “Voter-Friendly Campus” again for 2019-2020. The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encouraged their students to register and vote in the 2018 elections and in the coming years.

The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. The university was evaluated based on a campus plan about how it would engage student voters in 2018; how it facilitated democratic engagement efforts on campus; and a final analysis of its efforts. The designation is valid through December 2020.

McKendree University has made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in our democracy. In 2018, the university continued its participation in the ALL-IN Campus Democracy Challenge, National Voter Registration Day and Constitution Day; held voter registration drives; hosted guest speakers and discussions; and showed the “One Vote” documentary. In addition, the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus was a new polling place in the Nov. 6 general election for voters residing in three local precincts.

“We’re excited to be designated as a Voter-Friendly Campus,” said Dr. Ann Collins, associate professor of political science. “We had great success last semester in getting students more involved in the political process but realize we still have more work to do. It’s imperative that students find and use their voices. They play such an important role in our civic life, and we're hoping initiatives like this will help them have a deeper understanding of that.”

“It’s exciting to see how involved our students are in civic engagement,” added Paula Martin, Holman Library director. “McKendree students truly answered our call for involvement in the democratic process, and they showed their leadership skills and desire to be a part of the broader community. We’re looking forward to more opportunities to bring students into civic life in this community and beyond.”