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. 


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.


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

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  • programs


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.


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.


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.



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.



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

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

    A space for coalition partners to ideate & design resources, share best practices, and learn how to practice human-centered design.
    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.

    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. 

    A coordination space for national nonprofit organizations to facilitate collaboration opportunities, centralize resources, and synchronize a student voting calendar of events.

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

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

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

    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.
    A space for coalition partners who are interested in learning more, organizing, and/or coordinating around the redistricting process

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.

    A support space for Black coalition partners to connect, coordinate and organize.
    A communal and learning space for Asian American and Pacific Islander coalition partners.
    An inclusive social space for LGBTQ+ coalition members to connect, create, and organize.
    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.
    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. 




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. 

HBCU Student Voter Summit | September 10-11th, 2020 | Registration Link 

This November, Americans will experience one of the most critical elections of our lifetime. Even though Millennials and Gen Zers make up one of the largest voting-eligible groups in the country, students—especially Black students—are up against some of the most egregious voter suppression tactics aided by systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic. This first-ever National HBCU Voting (virtual) Summit will bring together HBCUs from around the country to prepare students to vote in 2020 and beyond.

North Carolina College Voter Summit | September 11-12, 2020 | Registration Link 

The 5th Annual NC College Voter Summit will virtually convene students, faculty, and staff who lead non-partisan, campus-wide voter engagement efforts. This event is hosted by the NC Campus Voting Coalition.  Participants will create and share innovative strategies as well as learn practical information to support college voter registration, voter education, and electoral participation.

Alabama Student Voter Summit | September 12, 2020 | Registration Link 

The Andrew Goodman Foundation will convene the Alabama Voting Summit. Hosted by the University of Alabama, this virtual conference will bring together higher education institutions from around Alabama to create action plans that support student turnout in 2020 and beyond.

Pennsylvania Student Voting Summit | September 16, 2020 | Registration Link 

The Virtual Pennsylvania Student Voting Summit is organized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and Campus Vote Project. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar will be speaking. Participants have the opportunity to learn about important election updates from the Pennsylvania Department of State, hear about in-person and virtual voter engagement strategies from nonpartisan partners, and connect with others doing this work.

California Student Voter Summit | September 18, 2020 | Registration Link 

This summit will bring together college campuses across the state to enhance civic learning and engagement planning for 2020. The summit is free to attend and will feature sessions on best practices in civic engagement, digital organizing, racism in voter engagement, and action planning sessions for individual campuses.