At the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony held to recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates, Oakland University received a gold seal for achieving a student rate between 40 percent and 49 percent.
“To be recognized with a gold seal from the ALL IN Democracy Challenge based on our student voter turnout in the 2018 elections is very exciting for our institution,” said Dr. David Dulio, a professor of political science and director of the Center for Civic Engagement at OU. “It shows that our students are engaged with important issues and our democratic system in general.”
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.
More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.
“We are excited to honor Oakland University with an ALL IN Challenge gold seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like Oakland University are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”
Student participation in elections has increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE), voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19 percent to 40 percent. Data provided by the IDHE shows Oakland University’s voting rate increased by 22.4 percent to 47.4 percent in 2018.
“To see a 22-point increase from 2014 to 2018 is a testament to our students and OU’s work in civic engagement,” Dulio said. “The Center for Civic Engagement is looking forward to building on the momentum of this award, and the democratic engagement that underlies it, this semester with a number of civic and democratic engagement activities and events.”