The Students Learn Students Vote Coalition recognizes 11 organizations, campuses, and election offices at annual gathering that featured two high-ranking Biden-Harris Administration officials.
Young and college student voters showed up in force in 2022, which saw one of the highest youth voter turnout rates ever in a midterm election, according to Tufts University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). The Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition, a nonpartisan network of more than 400 national, state, and local organizations dedicated to growing the student vote, gathered today to recognize 11 exemplary organizations, campuses, and election offices for their extraordinary, nonpartisan efforts to make voting easier, more accessible, and more equitable for college students in their communities and throughout the US.
The awards, given to leaders at the national, state, local and college campus levels, were announced at today’s closing ceremony of the SLSV Coalition’s annual Post-Election Gathering, a three-day event which featured speaking appearances by US Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Dr. Nasser H. Paydar and White House Office of Public Engagement Senior Advisor Hannah Bristol, as well as ACLU of Georgia Fellow and Atlanta-area student vote leader Evan Malbrough, who spoke of his experiences engaging student voters in Georgia’s November general election and December 6th runoff, in which young voters played a decisive role.
“We’re starting to see a new constituency,” said Malbrough of the high turnout and energy levels he saw among Georgia’s young voters. “A lot of young people are really embracing their identity as constituents and using it to achieve what they want in their community. Students are really making sure that the people in power know, ‘You have to talk to us. Our numbers are too high not to take us into consideration.’”
The 2022 SLSV Award Recipients are:
- Advancing Student Success and Retention: SUNY Oswego
- Centering and Trusting Local Leaders: Student PIRGs New Voters Project
- Collaborating for Greater Impact: The California Secretary of State Office
- Committing to Racial Justice: APIA Vote
- Investing in Institutionalization: Salem State University
- Leading through Nonpartisanship: All Vote No Play
- Removing Barriers and Increasing Access – Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office
- Making Democracy Fun and Celebratory: Central Lakes College Student Senate & Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)
- Contributing to an Equitable Democracy: Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project & Gallaudet University
The 2022 midterms mark the third consecutive federal election cycle with high youth and student voter participation rates, thanks in large part to young people and organizations like the 2022 SLSV Award recipients working in college communities throughout the US. In 2018, supported by resources, connections, strategic direction, and infrastructure built collaboratively by SLSV Coalition members, 40% of student voters turned out for the US midterm elections – more than double the 19% who participated in the 2014 midterms, according to Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. Since then, hundreds more campuses have invested in nonpartisan student voter engagement efforts, resulting in historic student voter turnout in 2020. For years, the student vote movement has been working to make historic turnout numbers routine.
“The 2022 SLSV Award recipients exemplify the guiding principles that have fueled the growth and success of the nonpartisan student vote movement,” said SLSV Coalition Co-Founder and Executive Director Clarissa Unger. “Each of them performed amazing work that made a tangible difference in the lives and experiences of voters in 2022. We’re proud to count them as partners, along with hundreds more organizations working every day to help college students make their voices heard in our democracy.”
The 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.