Saint Joseph, Missouri – December 11,2017 — At the first-ever ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony, held October 19, to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates, Missouri Western State University received a bronze seal for achieving a student rate between 50% and 59%. A full list of seal awardees can be viewed here.
Shana Meyer, Vice President for Student Affairs said, “We are proud to receive this national recognition for our efforts. These efforts have been driven primarily by our Student Government Association, but we are especially happy about our collaboration with faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Missouri Western is committed to working together to reduce apathy, increase engagement, and graduate civic-minded students prepared to solve the country, and the world’s, most pressing challenges.”
Student participation in elections has increased in the past few years. A recent report, “Democracy Counts: A Report on U.S. College and University Student Voting” from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy in Higher Education, shows that between the 2012 presidential election, and the 2016 presidential election, student voting went from 45.1% of eligible voters in 2012 to 48.3% in 2016 – a 7% improvement. Missouri Western had a student voting rate of 51.4%, up 4.3% from 2012.
“I am proud to honor Missouri Western with an ALL IN Challenge Bronze seal in recognition of their dedication, hard work, and achievement,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Missouri Western is not only ensuring that a more representative population participates in our nation’s democracy, but is educating students to be civic-minded. They are an example to be emulated.”
The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus. Missouri Western was an inaugural member of the Challenge. By joining the Challenge, campuses commit to:
- Convening a campus-wide committee that includes members from academic affairs, student affairs, and the student body, as well as any other relevant stakeholders;
- Developing and implementing an action plan to improve democratic engagement;
- Participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) in order to measure student voting rates; and
- Sharing their campus’ action plan and NSLVE results in order to be eligible for a recognition seal and/or awards.
More than 300 campuses, enrolling more than 4 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.