Each year, the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition collectively sets goals to guide us as a coalition. Our goals are developed based on input from hundreds of partners and refined by our team, our Executive Committee, and our Advisory Board. Our nine guiding principles, especially our principles of committing to racial justice and contributing to an equitable democracy, set the foundation and are woven throughout each of our annual goals.
The 2024 agenda, and SLSV Coalition as a whole, have a collective theme for the year ahead: “Building Power in Numbers.” Accordingly, the Coalition’s 2024 goals and resulting work will focus on helping student voters realize and exercise their enormous power to impact our country’s democracy for the better, with a focus on the following priorities:
- Sustaining and building upon the high registration and turnout rates among student voters in recent federal election cycles.
- Closing the existing racial and ethnic participation gaps that currently exist between white and nonwhite student voters, as well as any gaps between first-time eligible college student voters ages 18-21 and college student voters of other ages.
- Continuing to grow the number of college campuses actively participating in nonpartisan democratic engagement action planning programs, while working to deepen the engagement strategies of campuses already doing so.
- Addressing widespread feelings of disillusionment among college student voters by highlighting the opportunities they have to make a positive difference through democratic engagement, especially at the local level.
While 2023 is not a federal election year, there are no “off” years when it comes to institutionalizing and investing in the future of our democracy. In the coming year, the SLSV Coalition will work together to build on the #StudentVote movement’s extraordinary growth with a focus on the following priorities:
- Deepening engagement to support campuses in implementing advanced nonpartisan student voter engagement strategies.
- Continuing to support campuses as they complete the SLSV Checklist – including and especially during non-federal-election years, personnel transitions, and assessments via Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE).
- Working with local, state, and national nonprofit partners to coordinate support for campuses to meet their needs without overwhelming them.
In 2021, following a transformative election cycle, we focused on building the processes and infrastructure needed to sustain a movement that had reached historic heights the year before. In 2022, our focus shifts from building to implementation. It’s time to use our new tools, and hard-earned experience, to further institutionalize student nonpartisan democratic engagement on college campuses around the country, and ensure the student vote continues its extraordinary growth.
Our overarching theme, reflected in our 2021 goals, is “bringing presidential election energy to an ‘odd’ year.” While 2021 is an odd-numbered year without federal elections, it’s more than that for us. After the past year, 2021 will be another odd and unprecedented period – a year of reintegration after a global pandemic and re-envisioning what our democracy can be as we strive for ideals of justice and equity that have never been fully realized in our country.
There are no “off” election years. This work does not stop, so neither will we. These are the goals we have set and will collectively work toward together in 2021.
Recognizing the importance of getting college students more engaged in our democratic processes, the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition was founded in February 2016 to design and advance a shared agenda around student voting and political learning in higher education. Comprised of a diverse group of nearly 400 local, state, national, and student nonpartisan organizations working with over 1,600 campuses, the SLSV Coalition is the national hub and the largest nonpartisan network in the U.S. dedicated to increasing political learning and college student voting. These are the goals we have collectively set for ourselves for 2019 & 2020.
Since its founding in early 2016, the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition has experienced robust growth in reach and capacity to improve student voter registration, education, and turnout. Not believing that an “off-year” election exists, the Coalition kept the momentum going in 2017, issuing over $300,000 in subgrants to 15 coalition partners, helping to increase student voter turnout in state/local elections around the country. With the 2018 midterm elections on the horizon, the Coalition intends to build off of its previous successes and reach new heights in youth democratic engagement. This document seeks to outline the goals the Coalition is setting this year to maximize its impact across its 200+ coalition partners around the country.