Recognizing the importance of helping college students form the habits of civic engagement and participation, Furman University announced today that it has joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to improve, measure and celebrate its efforts to change campus climate and encourage informed participation in United States democracy.
The ALL IN Challenge, a program of Civic Nation, recognizes campuses committed to improving democratic engagement, increasing voter participation rates, and graduating informed and active citizens. Campuses commit to a set of actions, are recognized for achieving established benchmarks, and are presented awards for exemplary efforts.
Various Southern Conference (SOCON) institutions have accepted the challenge in hopes of improving voter registration and turnout. To build campus support and enthusiasm, universities have adopted school-specific names for the effort, says Furman student leader Sulaiman Ahmad ’18. Named for its mascot, the Paladins, Furman’s moniker for the ALL IN Challenge is “Dins Vote.”
Says Ahmad, “In the past, Furman students have not engaged vigorously in the political process. Dins Vote provides us with the opportunity to change that… By fostering interest and discussion in the voting procedure through Dins Vote, we are helping to create a culture of political advocacy among our students.”
“Preparing graduates for their public lives as citizens, members of communities, and professionals in society has historically been a responsibility of higher education,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Challenge. “We are thrilled to welcome Furman University to the Challenge and applaud this commitment to making engagement with our democracy a meaningful and pervasive part of campus culture.”
By joining the ALL IN Challenge, Furman will create an institution-wide committee of faculty, students and staff to develop and implement an action plan and coordinate efforts of individual groups that share the goal of increasing informed participation in the electoral process. Furman will also join the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), a program of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, and share the student voting participation rates from its NSLVE report with the ALL IN Challenge in order to be considered for recognition nationally and among its peers. The first awards presentation will take place in Washington, DC, in fall 2017 and biennially thereafter.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge benefits from the support and insight of a seven-member advisory board and works in partnership with organizations such as Campus Compact, American Democracy Project, NASPA – Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, Rock the Vote and others to advance the shared goal of informed and increased participation in the electoral life of the nation. A full listing of partner organizations is available at www.allinchallenge.org.
For more information about Dins Vote (or ALL IN), contact Dr. David Fleming in the Department of Political Science, (864) 294-2360. Or contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at (864) 294-3107.
About ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a Civic Nation Initiative. Civic Nation is a nonpartisan organization. It does not support or oppose candidates for public office in any election, nor does it take a stand for or against any political party. Civic Nation believes that the participation of informed citizens is of the utmost importance and encourages individuals to play an active role in the U.S. democratic endeavors.