Albion College Recognized With Silver Seal From the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge

November 12, 2021

By Emile Roberts

The ALL IN Silver Seal

Following a cross-campus effort to increase student voter registration and participation in the 2020 election cycle, Albion College has been recognized with a Silver Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Despite the COVID pandemic, the College’s student voting rate rose from 43.3% in 2016 to 61.7% in 2020. 

Albion College joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge in September of 2020. The national awards program encourages higher education institutions to help students become active and informed citizens. The 2020 election cycle saw unprecedented voter registration and turnout among college and university students, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE).

In the fall of 2020, the College created a committee of students, faculty and staff to increase voter participation, including promoting the College’s dedicated voting portal, albion.turbovote.org, where students can register to vote, request an absentee ballot and sign up for regular election reminders. Under the committee’s leadership, the College launched a communications campaign around voting, held a series of voter registration drives on campus and provided a communications toolkit to students, faculty and staff to empower offices, departments and student organizations in their outreach.

Zahra Ahmed, ’22, who served as president of the Albion College Student Senate during this period, recognizes how vital it is for students to engage in democracy.

A staff member and student at a voter registration drive.

As part of the College’s voter engagement efforts, students, faculty and staff held a series of physically distanced voter registration drives on campus during the fall of 2020.

“I think it’s important to bring awareness of voting on campus because most Albion students are first-time voters, and a lot of us are still figuring out how to be active participants in this democracy,” Ahmed said during a 2020 interview on the subject. “We’re preparing ourselves for further engagement in this world, and voting is a huge part of that and how we voice what we’ve learned so far.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is not affiliated with any candidate or political party. Its goal is to encourage active and informed participation in American democracy. By signing the pledge, Albion has committed to helping students become informed about the voting process beyond the 2020 election. 

“As a liberal arts institution, Albion College teaches our students the importance of being engaged citizens who contribute to the betterment of their communities,” said Eddie Visco, associate director of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service. “Voting is an important aspect of this. If we can assist our students in sharing their voice at the ballot box, not only do they become more invested community members, but the democratic process becomes stronger as well.”

Every vote matters. Learn more about the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.