Oberlin College is among a handful of campuses to receive the Voter Friendly Campus designation for a third consecutive year. Oberlin was an original program designee in 2018 and the program has grown to over two hundred campuses in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia. The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in 2020 elections and in the coming years.
The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. Our campus was evaluated based on a campus plan co-authored by Assistant Vice President of Student Life Adrian Bautista and Director of Student Life Auxiliary and Special Projects Wayne Wood which focused on how we would register, educate, and turnout student voters in 2020; how we facilitated voter engagement efforts on our campus; and, a final analysis of our overall efforts- all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022.
As part of our effort to be designated a voter friendly campus, Oberlin College saw huge collaboration involving a multifaceted approach to statesmanship and the November 2020 General Election. Athletics’ Yeo The Vote targeted voter registration for all athletes, OC Votes was introduced and continues to coordinate and sponsor programming, and a host of departments and offices—from Political Science to Student Union—organized and scheduled events to educate and engage.
Meredith Raimondo, Vice President and Dean of Students, notes that "Oberlin's commitment to becoming a Voter Friendly Campus demonstrates our deep and continuing commitment to helping students become engaged participants in U.S. democracy. Our political system depends on the rigorous examination of diverse perspectives, which is also critical to the academic and artistic mission of the College."
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