Our Work

our theory of change

Students vote at lower rates due to systemic barriers. Being a first time voter on a college campus brings unique challenges: where do you register to vote, how do you get to your polling place without a car, what if you have classes all day on election day?

Local leaders at the college and university level provide creative and effective answers to all of these questions and many more. That’s why the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition has chosen to invest in local leaders and make sure they’re supported in this work. As a national hub for student voting, we’re providing infrastructure and institutionalization at the campus level to address the most pressing voting issues faced by students.

how do we do this?

We provide funding

Every year we raise and distribute funding to Coalition partners and directly to campuses to support their incredible work.

We provide resources

We help design and coordinate programs and tools for campuses so they can scale, apply, and implement voter engagement strategies on their campuses.

We provide connections

We host monthly Coalition calls and annual convenings that create community and collaboration across the student voting space. 

We provide STRATEGIC DIRECTION

Our Executive Committee and Advisory Board include representatives from national and local nonprofits, students, faculty and staff from campuses, and election administrators who help set Coalition goals. 

Simply: We bring together campus, nonprofit, community, student, and philanthropic leaders with the goal of increasing student voter participation.

OUR GOALS

If the below 2021 Goals don’t load, you can download them here. 

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  • programs
  • MOBILIZATIONS
  • COMMITTEES
  • SUMMITS & NETWORKS

ASK EVERY STUDENT

Ask Every Student is a high engagement opportunity for institutions that want to set the standard for student voting accessibility and institutionalization. Campuses collaborate with a dedicated team of designers who will work to integrate voter registration asks into existing processes and points of contact that touch every student on campus.

The SLSV Coalition provides design specialist functions for campuses and manages the Ask Every Student Steering Committee which includes the SLSV Coalition, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project, and NASPA.

+1 THE POLLS

Young people voted at a record rate in 2018, but of those who didn’t turnout in the last election, nearly half cited access as a reason for not voting. We believe that on-campus polling locations is one of the easiest ways to increase student access to voting.

To ensure that campuses can continue to act as safe and accessible voting locations in 2020, MTV, the Alliance for Youth Organizing, Campus Vote Project, and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, launched +1 the Polls, the first-ever national effort to protect and place campus polling places through a student grant program.

This year, the Poll Defender cohort is made up of 43 college student leaders throughout the country that are working to place and/or protect voting sites on college, university, and community college campuses. This cohort gets access to important resources and tools, one-on-one support, and funding to help them in their efforts.

CAMPUS TAKEOVER ON NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY

Every year, millions of Americans are unable to vote because of a missed registration deadline or other problems with their registration. Recognizing this, National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) was created in 2012 as a single day of coordinated events to help voters get registered, or update their registration, ahead of state deadlines.

As co-managers of the NVRD “Campus Takeover” program, the SLSV Coalition provides training, resources, and funding to host awesome NVRD events for college students.

 

NATIONAL VOTER EDUCATION WEEK

With many events focused on voter registration and turnout, this new initiative focuses on voter education - an essential step in ensuring that those who are registered actually cast a ballot. Following NVRD, partners will host a digital campaign the week of October 5th to equip voters with the tools, information, and confidence they need to cast their ballots.

Participating in a national nonpartisan voter education campaign provides another touchpoint to further create a strong culture of voting and civic participation.

 

VOTE EARLY DAY

Did you know most voters can cast their ballot prior to Election Day? Voting early is a great option to avoid lines or other complications on election day. Vote early rules (both in-person and by mail) vary widely all over the country, so we are proud to be a part of the launch of Vote Early Day to make all voters aware of their options to vote early and provide them resources to do just that. Vote Early Day is a brand new collaboration of organizations and individuals working to ensure all Americans know their options to vote early.

Similar to NVRD, Vote Early Day is a collaborative holiday that anyone can engage with. The SLSV Coalition will be here to support and organize efforts to celebrate this holiday and help college students vote before Election Day.

The Coalition has different subcommittees, working groups, and affinity groups that help implement our collective model of institutionalized democratic engagement on college campuses. 

To participate in the SLSV Coalition’s Committees, you must be a Coalition Partner.  Click here to join the Coalition.

If you have a question about any of the Committees, please email kathryn@slsvcoalition.org

SUBCOMMITTES
A subcommittee is an issue/organizing-based committee that focuses on a specific set of topics.

  • RESOURCES AND SUPPORT SUBCOMMITTEE
    A space for coalition partners to ideate & design resources, share best practices, and learn how to practice human-centered design.
  • YOUTH VOTING RIGHTS SUBCOMMITTEE
    A community that helps partners expand access to youth voting through policy, provide critical information about youth voting, and share tools and resources for advocates to be successful in their efforts to expand young people’s access to the ballot.
  • STATE SUMMITS & NETWORKS SUBCOMMITTEE

    A space for student democracy summit organizers to connect, strategize and support each other with the long-term vision of creating state based student democracy networks. 

  • NATIONAL PROGRAM COORDINATION SUBCOMMITTEE
    A coordination space for national nonprofit organizations to facilitate collaboration opportunities, centralize resources, and synchronize a student voting calendar of events.
  • COMMUNICATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE

    A space for coalition partner communication staff to discuss messaging, coordinate campaigns, develop resources, and provide support and guidance to one another

  • BOOK CLUB
    A space for those who want to find community in books, documentaries, podcasts, and movies.

WORKING GROUPS
A working group is an ad-hoc committee that organizes around a short term campaign or issue area.

  • 26TH AMENDMENT WORKING GROUP
    A space for coalition partners who are interested in organizing and/or coordinating actions this year around the 50th Anniversary of the 26th Amendment with the focus on raising awareness of the unfulfilled promise of this amendment as a racial justice issue knowing that today’s youngest generations are the most diverse in our country’s history.
  • REDISTRICTING WORKING GROUP
    A space for coalition partners who are interested in learning more, organizing, and/or coordinating around the redistricting process

AFFINITY GROUPS
An affinity group is an identity-based committee that focuses on bringing together members with shared identities to gather and connect. To respect the nature of these affinity group spaces, we ask that only those who identify within these communities attend these spaces.

  • BLACK AFFINITY GROUP
    A support space for Black coalition partners to connect, coordinate and organize.
  • ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AFFINITY GROUP
    A communal and learning space for Asian American and Pacific Islander coalition partners.
  • LATINA/LATINO/LATINX AFFINITY GROUP
  • LGBTQ+ AFFINITY GROUP
    An inclusive social space for LGBTQ+ coalition members to connect, create, and organize.
  • DISABILITY AFFINITY GROUP
    A space for people with disabilities to build community, share experiences, explore the intersection of disability and other identities, and consider accessibility within the student voting community.
  • WOMEN & GENDER NON-BINARY AFFINITY GROUP
    A space for women and gender non-binary folks to organize, learn, and share opportunities for professional development and community building.

Statewide student democracy or voter summits and networks are invaluable to furthering democratic engagement on college campuses across the country. These summits play a critical role in making sure colleges and universities have access to the support, tools, and information they need to engage students in local, state, and national elections, and in our democracy more broadly. Colleges and universities who attend have the opportunity to create high-quality democratic engagement action plans. Student democracy summits have led to hundreds more colleges and universities making a commitment to engage their students as voters and created ongoing in-state learning networks. 

Since 2018, the SLSV Coalition has funded or helped convene state summit organizers for over 35 summits in 15 states. Depending on the summit, our role may range from organizer, consultant, plenary speaker, or workshop facilitator. 

A collaborative effort between LeadMN, the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project, and the University of Texas at Austin, the Student Democracy Summit Guide is a best practices toolkit for campuses and statewide networks that want to host student democracy summits. 

UPCOMING STATE SUMMITS:

Nevada Student Voter Summit | September 9, 2020 | Registration Link 

The nonpartisan summit will convene college students, faculty, and staff from Nevada higher education institutions around non-partisan, campus-wide voter engagement efforts. Participants will learn about, create, and share innovative strategies as well as learn practical information to support college voter registration, voter education, and electoral participation.