Original article, appearing on August 14, 2018, can be found here.
Looking for concise, evidence-based recommendations to raise student voting levels, improve campus climates for political learning, and increase constructive engagement across differences? Be sure to read Election Imperatives, which is full of resources and campus examples.
Published by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University, the report’s ten recommendations connect intertwined goals of improving students’ political learning, discourse, inclusion, agency, and participation, beyond—but also including—voting.
In 2014, only 18 percent of college students voted. Among young, first-time voters, just 12 percent of eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds in college voted. [Source: Election Imperatives] While a robust democracy requires increasing midterm voting, the fall elections should serve as a launching pad for political engagement, not the single expression of informed, responsible citizenship. America needs to have civic learning and engagement expected for all college graduates and practiced every day, not just once in November.
Election Imperatives has been endorsed by AAC&U and ten other organizational members of the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Action Network that have been working together since 2012 to advance education for responsible engagement in a diverse US democracy, as laid out in A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future.
For more information and additional resources about student political engagement, see AAC&U’s new web page on Political Learning and Democratic Engagement: Learn—Engage—Vote.