CCAC joins campuses nationwide in effort to be “voter friendly”
CCAC Democracy Fellow invited to lead discussion with community college students
PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County is one of more than 200 campuses in 37 states and the District of Columbia designated as a “Voter Friendly Campus.” The initiative, led by two national nonpartisan organizations—the Fair Elections Center’s 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 2020 elections as well as 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. CCAC was evaluated based on the college’s plan to facilitate voter engagement efforts on its campuses, including registering, educating and turning out student voters in 2020, as well as a final analysis of the college’s efforts—all in the midst of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022.
The college is also honored to announce that CCAC Democracy Fellow Madysen Kelly has been invited by the Campus Vote Project to lead the discussion with community college students at the Pennsylvania Youth Voting Summit in April. CCAC’s commitment to student voter engagement was strengthened by the efforts of CCAC students Kelly and Sabrina Ukasik, who were selected by the Campus Vote Project to serve as Democracy Fellows. As such, they assisted CCAC’s Civic Engagement Coordinator and History Professor Jacqueline Cavalier with student voter registration and education efforts throughout the election season.
“I am so proud of Madysen and Sabrina for their hard work as Democracy Fellows with the Civic Engagement initiative at CCAC,” said Cavalier. “The Voter Friendly Campus designation is also a huge honor, and it was a team effort. Individuals throughout the college helped to enhance student voter registration, voter education and voter participation, as well as other forms of democratic engagement.”
As part of CCAC’s effort to be designated a voter friendly campus, the college employed several measures to encourage student voter registration and education in 2020, including the creation of a Civic Engagement webpage and an “Election 2020” webpage, together with collegewide engagement activities. Starting in spring 2020, under the leadership of Cavalier, civic and community engagement activities were heavily focused on encouraging and increasing student voter registration, as well as voter education, in preparation for the presidential election in November 2020. In partnership with the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh, student voter registration drives were conducted on each of the four CCAC campuses and the Homewood-Brushton Center.
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural and urban campuses. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes many Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program is ultimately serving millions of students.