National Voting Coalition Recognizes Extraordinary Efforts to Mobilize College Students in the 2020 Election

PRESS RELEASE: Students Learn Students Vote Coalition
CONTACT: Danny Fersh,

 The 2020 election was the most participatory election in our country’s history. Even amid the challenges of a global pandemic, local leaders creatively adapted their strategies and doubled down on their commitment to ensuring that all eligible voters had access to the voting process. While not totally synonymous with college student turnout, Tisch College’s CIRCLE estimates young adult turnout (18-29 year-olds) in 2020 increased around 10 percentage points over young adult turnout in 2016. 

To recognize the extraordinary efforts of organizations, campuses, and local leaders, for the first time ever the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition recognized organizations and campuses that employed extraordinary efforts to mobilize college students and exemplify the SLSV Coalition’s Guiding Principles at the “Celebrating Our Stars” Awards Ceremony on December 4th as the culmination of the 2020 SLSV Post-Election Gathering. 


The winners of the 2020 SLSV Awards are:

  • Advancing Student Success and Retention: Tisch College’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education
  • Centering and Trusting Local Leaders : NAACP Youth & College Division
  • Collaborating for Greater Impact: Michigan Department of State 
  • Committing to Racial Justice: Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project
  • Contributing to an Equitable Democracy: Andrew Goodman Foundation 
  • Investing in Institutionalization: Bowling Green State University
  • Leading through Nonpartisanship: Cornell Votes
  • Making Democracy Fun and Celebratory: Vote for Astra 
  • Removing Barriers and Increasing Access: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Removing Barriers and Increasing Access: Alabama A&M University


“Youth turnout in 2020 is not an anomaly,” said Clarissa Unger, Director of the SLSV Coalition, “It is part of a sustained trend powered by infrastructure that supports youth engagement, which importantly includes colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations – institutions that young people learn from and engage with every day. The SLSV Coalition is proud to work with and recognize the continued and extraordinary efforts of our partners,” 

The 2020 SLSV Awards Ceremony coincided with the National Conference on Citizenship’s (NCoC) Joseph H. Kanter 2020 Citizen of the Year Award. Awarded each year, the Citizen of the Year Award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of private citizens in furthering the cause of civic engagement and democratic practice. Normally given to an individual, NCoC gave this year’s award to all first-time poll workers for their incredible leadership during the 2020 election. 

The SLSV Coalition broadcasted the virtual award ceremony on their Facebook page on December 4th. You can access the recording here.


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 the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. NCoC is strictly nonpartisan, and does not support or oppose any candidate or party.

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