What is a ‘voter friendly campus’? Longwood earns rare label

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

FARMVILLE – What is a voter friendly campus? Longwood University earned the designation this month, given out by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote project.

Matthew McWilliams, the university’s assistant vice president for communications, explains in detail what the designation means.

“(It is) a recognition of the efforts that we as a campus, through various student-led and university initiatives, have taken to promote college students’ participation in the political process and foster a culture of democratic engagement on campus,” McWilliams said. “It recognizes that we have committed to voter registration, education, and turnout as part of our mission.”

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McWilliams added that Campus Vote Project and NASPA will continue to work with the university and “support us in our work with resources like strategy and tactics to increase voter registration, education, and turnout to reach our goals of increasing student involvement in the political process.”

Founded in 1839, the University has made leaps and bounds in the realm of further public education, offering a plethora of undergraduate studies, graduate programs, and various offerings for continuing education to the Farmville area and beyond.

Voter friendly campus a ‘large undertaking’

With the upcoming election season, educating students on the full process of elections is undoubtedly a large undertaking, yet an equally important one at that.

In the 2020 election, according to polls from Inside Higher Ed, there were record breaking voter turnout rates amongst the college aged population across the United States, with 66% of students showing up to make their voices heard through casting their votes, whether in person or otherwise.

With this new initiative, perhaps the voter turnout amongst young people in Virginia will exceed even the 2020 election, as the increasingly important upcoming election has America hanging in the balance.

Longwood University is among 258 Universities across America to have received the designation of a Voter Friendly Campus in 2023, with 71 colleges and universities receiving the designation for the first time.