Political Science

Oakland University achieves ‘Voter-Friendly Campus’ designation

icon of a calendarFebruary 28, 2019

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Oakland University achieves ‘Voter-Friendly Campus’ designation
A visit by the Secretary of State's Mobile Office to the OU campus is among the reasons Oakland University has been designated a “Voter-Friendly Campus."

As a result of ongoing efforts to encourage students to become more involved in the electoral process, Oakland University has been designated a “Voter-Friendly Campus” by Campus Vote Project and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

The designation is valid through December 2020.

“This is a tremendous honor for Oakland University,” said Dr. David Dulio, a professor of political science and director of the Center for Civic Engagement at OU. “It shows that our efforts in civic engagement are working.”

Oakland University is one of only 15 higher education institutions in the state of Michigan to receive the designation, which is awarded to universities and colleges that planned and implemented practices that encouraged students to register and vote in the 2018 elections, and through 2019, 2020 and beyond.

“In the fall of 2018, over 800 OU students were registered to vote through numerous programs and activities on campus including a visit from then-Secretary of State and OU alum Ruth Johnson and the Secretary of State's Mobile office on the last day to register to vote,” Dulio said. 

In addition, the Center for Civic Engagement produced materials that helped students navigate the voter registration process and the sometimes-confusing process of casting a ballot. The Oakland University Student Congress also arranged for the Bear Bus to provide rides to the polls for students who needed them and the CCE hosted a series of events focused on voter education, including a candidate forum featuring 10 candidates for the state legislature, one candidate for lieutenant governor and one gubernatorial candidate, as well as a Debate Watch Party during one of the gubernatorial debates.

“I look forward to continuing to work with individuals across campus to ensure that OU keeps improving our ability to help students gain the tools needed to engage in their democratic society,” Dulio said.

The Voter Friendly Campus designation program was started through the partnership of Campus Vote Project and NASPA in 2016. The goal of the program is to help institutions develop plans to coordinate administrators, faculty, and student organizations in civic and electoral engagement.

For more information about all the institutions that received the Voter Friendly Campus designation for 2019-2020 visit www.voterfriendlycampus.org.

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