UNC Pembroke is officially designated a Voter-Friendly Campus. 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 2018 elections and in the coming years.
The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts to help students overcome barriers of participating in the political process. UNC Pembroke was evaluated based on a campus plan outlining how the university would engage student voters in 2018, how the university facilitated democratic engagement efforts on campus and a final analysis of efforts. The designation is valid through December 2020.
As part of the effort to be designated a voter-friendly campus, UNCP Votes, a student-managed non-partisan election engagement coalition, hosted by the Office for Community and Civic Engagement, implemented various voter registration, education and mobilization initiatives.
The coalition serves as an umbrella for all democratic engagement on campus and partners with various university departments, student organizations, the Student Government Association, and other non-partisan groups.
In the 2018-19 academic year, UNCP Votes hosted events such as Popcorn & Politics that invited candidates running for office to campus. Additional events included early voting and Election Day shuttles for students and voter registration drives. Campus Votes fellows and UNC Pembroke students, Harrison Pegram and Thomas Crowe-Allbritton led the coalition.
UNC Pembroke has made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in our democracy, and is excited to continue engaging students through 2019, 2020 and beyond.
“Often times students share how they feel they are not informed enough to vote or that their vote does not count. UNCP Votes utilizes engaged students to motivate and mobilize their peers to make change through democratic engagement. This designation exemplifies the importance of our student's work and the impact UNCP has on our community, state and nation,” said Dalton Hoffer, assistant director for student engagement at UNC Pembroke.
The institutions receiving Voter-Friendly Campus designations represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses, with a total enrollment of nearly 1.4 million students.
"We are now one of 123 campuses, from 31 states that received the designation and are proud to make voting more accessible to our campus community," Hoffer continued.