The Austin Community College District (ACC) was named a “Voter Friendly Campus” for its efforts to break down barriers and empower students with information and tools to participate in the political process.
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 encourage their students to register and vote in the 2016 general election and in the coming years.
“ACC is dedicated to the full development of its students as competent, qualified individuals and as informed, engaged citizens in our democracy,” says Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, ACC vice president of community engagement and public affairs. “We are gratified to receive the designation as a ‘Voter Friendly Campus’ which recognizes our efforts to overcome barriers to participation in our civil society.”
The college is one of 83 campuses in 23 states designated as a “Voter-Friendly Campus.” The designation is valid through December 2018.
As part of its effort, ACC implemented a series of initiatives to promote student engagement including:
- Make Your Mark: ACC notified students, faculty, and staff of important political events such as early voting dates, Election Day reminders, and candidate forums.
- Voter registration rallies: ACC expanded voter registration activities at all campuses and provided mail-in voter registration cards at campus managers’ offices.
- Volunteer Voter Registrar workshops: ACC hosted registrar training workshops for faculty and staff.
- National Voter Registration Day event: ACC hosted candidate forums in conjunction with community partners.
- Early Voting location: ACC campuses served as voting locations.
The college also developed a coalition to enhance student outreach. The coalition includes the ACC Student Government Association, Student Life, Government Department faculty, and the election and government relations manager at the college. Community partners include the League of Women Voters, the American Association of Retirees, the American Association of University Women, and county and political party representation.
As a Voter Friendly Campus, ACC will be able to use the information and best practices to better serve its students and promote a culture of civic engagement. According to the Campus Vote Project, only 20 percent of the youth vote participated in the election process in 2014.
For information about the Voter Friendly Campus designation, visit voterfriendlycampus.org.Back to Top