TU honored with national gold seal for voting rates

November 15, 2019

TU student voter engagement doubled since 2014 election

tu voting

Towson University is all in on the ballot box.

The university was honored with a Gold seal for its voting efforts at the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony November 12 in Washington, D.C. The ceremony is held to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates. A gold seal is given for achieving a student participation rate between 40% and 49%.

Towson University’s voting rate was 42.2 percent in 2018, rising an impressive 21.5 percent from 2014. The voting rate was a high mark for the university.

“This is a great honor for Towson University and it occurred because of the work of many people,” said Christopher D. Jensen, Director of Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility at TU.

Jensen said Luis Sierra, Assistant Director for Civic Engagement, received the award on behalf of the university and “has been the driving force of the TUvotes initiative.”

Nationwide, student participation in elections increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19% to 40%.

“We are excited to honor Towson University with an ALL IN Challenge gold seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like Towson University are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. 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.

More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.

Jensen said this honor is a campus-wide achievement: “Through this initiative, we have mobilized our collaborations with the students in SGA, the Andrew Goodman Foundation Fellows, Sophie Bertrand & Jonathan Townes, along with many offices and departments across campus Starting in the Spring, there will be more events to help increase the number of students energized for the 2020 election.  Through these campus efforts we expect to show that our students want to be included in the democratic process by casting their vote.”