Transition Campus Staff Tomás

Hi! I’m Tomás! I’m new to my role, but my campus is already very engaged in the student voting space. There are so many partners, acronyms, and so much information that I am very confused about. I want to get up to speed so I can keep the work going!


My campus is super engaged, but I’m having trouble getting caught up and absorbing the information I need to keep the momentum going.

You might relate to me if you are a staff, administrator, or faculty member on a college or university campus. You may have been hired to replace someone who was coordinating student voting efforts on campus or tapped to support the current person in that role. 

Totally hear you, Tomás. 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 for the long term. 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. 

Get acquainted with your campus’ voting landscape and history!

If your campus has been engaged in the past, you may have a campus democratic engagement action plan that can help you learn more about your past student voter engagement efforts and partnerships.

Don’t see an action plan and/or your campus isn’t signed up for NSLVE?

If that’s the case, you may want to check out the New Campus Staff Nadia Starter Pack instead for more information about getting started there.

Create a nonprofit partnership contact list if you haven’t yet!

If you are an SLSV Coalition partner, check out the SLSV Master Sheet to see who your campus has partnered with in the past. You can find staff contact information through the SLSV Coalition’s Partner Directory – nonprofit partner organizations love to connect with new staff from existing campus partners! You should definitely update your partners with your contact information so nothing slips through the cracks.

  • Not an SLSV Coalition Partner? Click here to see how you can become one and gain access to the SLSV Master Sheet and other helpful resources.

  • Don’t see your campus department or organization listed there and you’re an SLSV Partner? Reach out to info@slsvcoalition.org to get yourself listed. 

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

Partner with your local election officials! Nobody knows your local voting laws and rules better and they are an essential partnership for doing this work! Check out the Election Official and Campus Engagement Report and Toolkit, for information, best practices, and tools to engage in successful outreach and collaboration with local election officials.

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. 

Voter ID laws can be confusing. Every state has different rules, and the rules can differ depending on voting method. For college students, things can get even more complicated. Clear, accurate, and easily available voter ID messaging is essential to ensuring students have what they need to cast their ballots. Check out this resource we made with VoteRiders to find a student voter ID landing page, voter ID info cards, and a communications toolkit! 

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! 

Read about research and recommendations to help inform your work!

The Student Vote Research Network is a collaborative effort to fund and publish the latest research in nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation among college students. Check out their newsletter for recent findings and check out their best practices for college student voter participation. 

The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement’s A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future (2012) is the founding text that documents the nation’s civic health and includes recommendations for action that address campus culture, general education, and civic inquiry as part of major and career fields as well as hands-on civic problem-solving across differences.

The Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Theory of Change  is a companion piece to “A Crucible Moment” that describes how the components — civic ethos, civic literacy and skill building, civic inquiry, civic action, and civic agency — are actualized on campuses and outside of the campus community.

ideas42’s Graduating Students into Voters provides key insights about the eight psychological barriers faced by student voters and nine actionable design principles college leaders can use to overcome them.

IDHE’s Election Imperatives reports share research recommendations for what campuses can do to institutionalize student political learning on campus.

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!

Join Ask Every Student!

Ask Every Student offers high engagement opportunities for institutions aiming to advance or launch efforts that empower their students to participate in our democracy. Ask Every Student campuses can access a broad range of avenues for participation that ensure the flexibility necessary to develop the plan that works best for their students and community. Not sure where to start? Fill out the First Step Form to see where you should focus your efforts.

Join the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition!

Get access to resources, connections, funding and strategic direction by joining as an official partner of the SLSV Coalition. Learn more what it means to be a Coalition partner and join here, or reach out to our Campus Support and Engagement Coordinator, Sithara Menon at sithara@slsvcoalition.org!

Connect with other Coalition partners!

Check out our Partner Directory 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!

Using federal work-study funds for civic activities isn’t just encouraged of higher education institutions – it’s required. Learn more about using Federal Work-Study funds to pay student fellows!

The Campus Vote Project, the Andrew Goodman FoundationCommon CauseStudentPIRGs and others all have paid student fellowships. Check with them to see if there are open opportunities. 

To learn about how to host a voter registration drive, check out the Voter Registration Guides from the Fair Elections Center! 

The Ask Every Student Toolkit has a ton of adaptable resources and campus-created examples to help get you started.  Not sure where to start? Fill out the First Step Form to see where you should focus your efforts, or reach out to our  Campus Support and Engagement Coordinator, Sithara Menon at sithara@slsvcoalition.org

  • The Ask Every Student Community is open to the whole student voting space and has regular programming and cohort opportunities where you can meet and connect with other stakeholders in the same position as you.

  • If you are a student affairs professional and NASPA member, you can also join the CLDE Knowledge Community.

  • Join the SLSV Coalition Slack to access open streams of communication with other Coalition Partners. There are general channels in addition to channels for every subcommittee, working group, and affinity group. It’s also a great place to build connections and even make friends! The Slack is available for SLSV Coalition partners only, so join the Coalition here! If you are already a partner, email info@slsvcoalition.org to get added to the Slack!

  • Join the Higher Ed – Student Voter Engagement (HE-SVE) Google Group to connect with campus and nonprofit leaders across the country about engaging student voters! This listserv is very active and a great spot to ask questions and share news. 

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. Join the Coalition! 

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Feel free to email our Campus Engagement & Support Coordinator Sithara Menon sithara@slsvcoalition.org and we are happy to assist!