NEWS

National Voting Coalition Announces Launch of Student Vote Research Network

PRESS RELEASE: Students Learn Students Vote Coalition
CONTACT: Danny Fersh, danny@slsvcoalition.org

The Students Learn Students Vote (“SLSV”) Coalition, in collaboration with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (“ALL IN”), Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project (“CVP”), Scholar Strategy Network and the Analyst Institute, announced today the launch of the Student Vote Research Network (“SVRN”), an inclusive, collaborative space for scholars, students, advocacy organizations and community practitioners to come together to grow college student voter engagement through research and programming. 

The SVRN will combine cutting-edge research methodologies with deep institutional knowledge and rich on-the-ground experience from practitioners, producing actionable insights for policy makers, funders, and the public while addressing knowledge gaps about underrepresented student voting populations. In doing so, the newly-formed network will pioneer a strategy known as “inclusive consensus,” in which community partners and scholars co-create usable knowledge together, democratizing methods traditionally practiced exclusively by the academic community without direct input from on-the-ground partners. 

“The SVRN is fundamentally about bridging gaps between groups – the academic community, community organizers and advocates, students – that traditionally operate separately, but share the same goals and will each benefit enormously from working with each other,” said SLSV Coalition ACLS Leading Edge Fellow Dr. Beatrice Wayne. “We want to bring the power of research to student nonpartisan civic engagement, and the experience and perspective organizers to the academic community.”

The nonpartisan student voting space has already seen such collaborations produce extraordinary results, such as the 2021 Menlo College study run by Dr. Melissa Michelson, who worked with the Ask Every Student (AES) initiative in a national study of more than 2,200 students at 14 AES campuses. Through this collaboration, Dr. Michelson was able to produce ground-breaking scholarship that provided important confirmation of the efficacy of the AES program, as well as important insights on how to make the program even more effective in the future. Scholars, students, advocacy groups and community practitioners will now have a dedicated space to collaborate for more extraordinary work.

“The SVRN is such an exciting development for people who care about growing the student vote and helping underrepresented populations make their voices heard,” said SLSV Coalition Executive Director Clarissa Unger. “We can’t wait to see what insights and advances come from this collaboration.”  

The SVRN will officially launch on Wednesday, April 27, when it hosts the first Annual Workshop on the State of the Student Vote, a collaborative space for dialogue among scholars, students, and advocates dedicated to growing college student voter engagement. The workshop will provide an opportunity for attendees to share existing knowledge, workshop on-going projects, and brainstorm ideas about up-and-coming research initiatives. 

The Student Vote Research Network is a joint effort of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, ALL IN-Campus Democracy Challenge, Campus Vote Project, Scholar Strategy Network and the Analyst Institute. Academic partners include Menlo College, the University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University. 

About the SLSV Coalition

The Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition is the national hub and largest nonpartisan network in the United States dedicated to increasing college student voter participation. The Coalition convenes and connects partners, campuses, and students with each other and with resources and programming towards achieving a vision of ensuring that every student has easy and equal access to participate in every election. They use data, relationships, celebration, and easy-to-follow planning structures, to help campus and local leaders register and turnout more student voters every year. The SLSV Coalition is a project of NEO Philanthropy. NEO Philanthropy is strictly nonpartisan, and does not support or oppose any candidate or party.

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