How Princeton faculty can support Vote100

A hallmark of a Princeton education is the central role faculty play in shaping student life both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to the transformative relationships that are formed from advising theses and teaching, faculty also serve as mentors to student-athletes, are fellows in our residential colleges, attend numerous student arts performances, and regularly cross paths with students in the coffee shops and courtyards that help shape our campus and town. Students consistently tell us that faculty have a profound impact on their experiences as they journey through Princeton.

As a non-partisan University-wide voter engagement initiative, Vote100 invites all members of the Princeton community to join us in our work. We know that faculty have tremendous influence with students, and as such, we ask faculty to use platforms available to them to help us achieve our goal of engaging every student in the democratic process.

There has been great momentum at Princeton since responding to our tepid voting rates during the 2014 Midterm elections; we have spearheaded numerous initiatives on campus and partnered with organizations such as the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University and the Campus Democracy Challenge to connect our own ideas to a larger, national network committed to tackling the issues of low voting rates for college-aged voters. We’ve received national recognition for the work we have done, but know that we can and should do more.

Here are some pragmatic ways faculty can help us in our work:

  • Include links to our TurboVote registration site and the Vote100 page in course materials where appropriate.
  • Show a Vote100 slide moments before lectures formally start.
  • Share important dates related to voting, and encourage students to make concrete voting plans.
  • Promote voting engagement generally, and Vote100 specifically, at departmental meetings, panels, and lectures when given the opportunity to do so.
  • Attend events that are sponsored by Vote100 throughout campus.
  • Communicate willingness to participate in our social media and publicity efforts; we can record short videos or take pictures for our use in voting publicity.
  • Formally sign on as a Faculty Affiliate of Vote100 to assist us in periodically sharing information through faculty networks.
Advertisement for voter registration drive featuring professor Jeff Nunokawa, 2015.
Advertisement for voter registration drive featuring professor Jeff Nunokawa, 2015.

 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to us and share your thoughts. Contact information can be found here. Also, please connect with fellow faculty members who are working in an ongoing way to help shape our thinking about how we can make this critically important work a collaborative process leveraging all the expertise and experience on our campus. We are grateful for your help!

 

How Princeton staff can support Vote100

As an immersive and residentially-based University, there are countless ways in which students, visitors, faculty, and alumni rely on administrative staff to navigate the campus and accomplish their work. Simply put, the University would not function without the attentive efforts of staff. This work provides ample opportunities for staff to have substantive relationships with students as they help guide students on a path of intellectual and personal discovery.

We know that there are opportunities to teach all across this University, from the playing fields to dining hall kitchens to laboratories and libraries. Staff members like the late Ms. Laura Wooten, a food service worker in Butler College who volunteered as a poll worker for local, primary and general elections for 79 years, showed us how best we can live the University’s informal motto of In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity.

Students often see staff members as respected members of the community who provide mentorship and wisdom. We invite staff at Princeton to join us in promoting a culture of active democratic participation. Our hope is that we can engender a belief that being a member of the Princeton community is synonymous with being a voter whenever and wherever eligible to cast a ballot. We invite staff to join us in this vitally important initiative.

Here are some pragmatic ways staff can help us in our work:

  • Attend Vote100 events sponsored on campus (if possible) or virtually; a visible sign that we are all invested in this work will have tremendous impact on campus culture.
  • Explore ways that your department can promote the TurboVote registration site for students.
  • Find ways to mention voting generally, and Vote100 specifically, when given the opportunity to speak at University-related panels, functions, and meetings.
  • Encourage students affiliated with your programs to develop concrete voting plans. Help us inform them of the Vote100 initiative.
  • Offer to promote Vote100 information on communication channels you manage.
  • As important voting deadlines approach, verbally encourage students to vote.
  • Send us video clips and other promotional items we can use in our own social media efforts; we want this to be a campus-wide effort that is inclusive and representative of everyone on campus.

If you have any questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to come and talk with your colleagues if they are interested in learning more about how the University is approaching this work. Note that Vote100 is a non-partisan effort and is open to everyone.

Sign from the class of 1921 at the 1936 P-Rade, courtesy of Mudd Library.
Sign from the class of 1921 at the 1936 P-Rade, courtesy of Mudd Library.