JERSEY CITY, N.J. | New Jersey City University (NJCU) and its ‘NJCU Votes’ initiative is the recipient of a Bronze Seal award from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for its efforts promoting nonpartisan student voter participation efforts during the 2020 presidential elections.
With leadership from NJCU President Sue Henderson and Dr. Jodi Bailey, Vice President of Student Affairs, along with collaboration from the offices of Marketing and Communications, Student Affairs, the Center for Leadership and Engagement (CLE) and Knight Student Media, NJCU launched a campaign on voting and civic awareness in 2020. As a result of these efforts, NJCU increased its voting rates by approximately eight percent.
The efforts included the launching of an NJCU Votes website, which featured voting information and thanks to a grant from the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, gained access for the first time to TurboVote, which helped the entire university community with election reminders and easy voter registration. ‘NJCU Votes’ and the university social media platforms also featured video testimonials from students about the importance of voting and a student film on immigrants and voting.
Meanwhile, Knight Student Media hosted a webinar with the League of Women Voters – New Jersey chapter and ran multiple articles in The Gothic Times student newspaper on first-time voters and the importance of voting.
Following the conclusion of the high-profile 2020 election, ‘NJCU Votes’ has continued to engage students in local and statewide elections during the 2021 races, including a recent interview with a first-time mayoral candidate in Jersey City. Theta Pavis, Director of Student Media, Dr. Louise Stanton, Professor of Political Science, and Rob Quinones, assistant director of The Center for Community Engagement (CCE), continue to promote voter registration on campus, including in classes and at Constitution Day events every year.
NJCU also participated in the New Jersey Ballot Bowl and Campus Voting Challenge, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of State.
College and university students participated in record-breaking numbers in the 2020 election, as the average student voting rate at U.S. colleges and universities jumped from 53 percent in 2016 to 66 percent in 2020.
Earlier this month, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its third biennial awards ceremony to recognize select higher education institutions, educators, and students for their extraordinary work in student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and most students learning virtually, the honorees ensured students across the country could cast their ballots.
The 2020 presidential election engaged the largest and most diverse group of college students in U.S. history, with more than 840 institutions enrolling close to nine million students to participate in the ALL IN Challenge.
About the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge:
ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) is a national, nonpartisan initiative of Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) organization. ALL IN strives for a more inclusive democracy—one in which all voices are heard. We believe that higher education plays a role in graduating students into voters and in closing electoral participation gaps that persist by race and age. Through an intentionally designed program—which provides structure, support, and recognition—ALL IN strengthens college and university efforts to improve civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation. Ensuring that students are registered to vote and participate in all elections is a key component of our work. Learn more and see a full list of winning campuses at https://allinchallenge.org/awards-ceremony.
New Jersey City University is an institution of higher learning with an audacious goal: the development of our students, our city, our communities, our state, and the world beyond. We are a game-changing force for our students and their families. Whether our students are enrolled in one of our 50 undergraduate, 28 graduate or three doctoral programs, NJCU provides an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty—all of which prepares them to be critical thinkers in a global landscape.
We’re also changing the game for our city, our communities, and our state. As the educational anchor institution in Jersey City, we’ve established partnerships to ensure the area’s growth directly benefits our students and community members. We seek to improve the lives of everyone in the Garden State, whether creating a home for the arts, bringing educational programs to K-12 students, offering bachelor’s degrees in partnership with community colleges, or providing professional development opportunities for adults.
At NJCU, we’re not just educating minds, we’re nourishing souls and lifting communities. We’re changing the game.
Ira Thor, Senior Director of University Communications and Media Relations | firstname.lastname@example.org | 201-200-3301