#STUDENTVOTE STARTER PACK

Starter Student Saúl

Hi I’m Saúl, I am passionate about getting my campus to vote and be more democratically engaged. I don’t currently have anyone except my friends to help me, and I’m looking for ways I can get started.

ABOUT ME

I have not yet received much support and/or funding from my institution to help me with my efforts. I really want connections, support, and resources to get started so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

You might relate to me if you are a student leader, if you have a fellowship with a nonprofit, or are currently exploring a similar path.

Don’t worry Saúl, we got you! Here are some helpful things to do to get started.

Familiarize yourself with the SLSV Checklist!

The SLSV Checklist is a four-step process for institutionalizing student voting engagement on college campuses. We start with a simple premise grounded in trust, not transaction: local leaders who know their campus best, who are committed to their specific place, and who have access to local social networks are best positioned and most culturally equipped to drive dramatic and sustainable increases in voter participation, learning, and growth over time. 

Let’s double-check. You might not be the first person on your campus to do this!

Research what is possibly already happening on your campus: There may be other students, staff or faculty on your campus who are also working to increase voting and democratic engagement.

Look for a campus student voting coalition: Does your institution have a campus voting coalition? Check to see if a center or department on campus leads the coalition as an initiative or if there’s a registered student organization leading the work.

See if you are enrolled in NSLVE: If your campus has enrolled in the NSLVE in the past, you can use the student voting data to understand your campus’ voting landscape better. To get your campus signed up for NSLVE, check out the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education’s website for instructions to join.

Look for your plan: A good place to start is the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge’s website to see if your campus is part of the Challenge and if it has a public campus action plan and/or a public NSLVE report. 

Participate in Civic Holidays!

Beside Election Day, these holidays are some of the most visible and exciting opportunities to celebrate voting on campus.  The holidays we are talking about are:

  • National Voter Registration Day
  • National Voter Education Week
  • Vote Early Day
  • Election Hero Day

 

You can learn more about these holidays by checking out the CivicHolidays.org website. Also, we highly recommend checking out Campus Takeover: an initiative that focuses on supporting campuses celebrating Civic Holidays! Joining Campus Takeover gives you access to specific toolkits, sample materials, and funding to support your on-campus event! 

Build your organizing and mobilizing skills!

Ask Every Student’s Execution Toolkit provides key resources and best practices for training and recruiting volunteers and facilitating large scale and sustained student voter support.

StudentPIRGs’ Digital Civic Engagement Toolkit compiles best practices to keep students engaged and involved in voter registration and mobilization virtually.

Learn about digital tools and guides!

Ask Every Student’s Navigating Civic Technology and Digital Voter Guides provides a breakdown of voter assistance portals, voting guides, and ballot guides you can use in your organizing. 

Educate yourself on the voting laws and rules in your state!

Check out the Campus Vote Project’s Student Voting Guides. You can keep this handy to learn more about the voting laws in your state, but they are also helpful if you need to reference another state for your fellow students who come from out-of-state.

Want to dive deeper on resources? Go to the SLSV Coalition Resource Library and use filters to find what you’re looking for. 

You don’t need to do this alone. Check out some of these SLSV Partners who can help you!

Connect with your fellow students!

Are you in a fellowship?

If not, check out these organizations to see if they are hiring!

Do these organizations have chapters on your campus?

Identify organizations in your community that can support you!

This could be your local board of elections, local League of Women Voters chapter, or other community-based organizations that focus on voter engagement.

Identify on-campus partners that could be part of a mutually beneficial collaboration!

This could be:

  • Student Government Association
  • Campus Affinity Groups (e.g. Black Student Union, Native American Student Association, etc.)
  • Residence Halls
  • Student life/activities office
  • Center for leadership and civic engagement

Check out the SLSV Coalition Partner Directory!

Check out this navigation tool that shows what nonprofit organizations may be working on your campus, and who else in your area may be doing similar work. Use filters to find the right partners for you!

Thanks, but I have more questions!

Join the SLSV Coalition’s listserv! We are always pushing out funding opportunities from the network when they become available. Examples of funding opportunities we have offered or highlighted in the past were one-time grants, implementation grants, Civic Holiday Campus Takeover Grants, and rapid response grants. Sign up for an informational here!

Find someone (a professor or staff member) on your campus who can help you get a meeting with a campus administrator. Student life offices can be especially helpful for this! Create a student organization if there isn’t one already, and have your advisor help. Having a student organization will help you make more impact. Check out ALL IN’s Student Voting Group Report for inspiration on ways to get started. 

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Feel free to email us at info@slsvcoalition.org and we are happy to assist!