Voting Engagement Roundtable: Faculty Champions Program
Become a faculty champion and help our students register to vote! Here is a central link to our resources: https://linktr.ee/umoce
Voting Engagement Roundtable: Classroom Resources for Student Civic Engagement and Voting
My name is NaYoun Lee and I am a faculty liaison with the Voting Engagement Roundtable at the Office of Community Engagement (OCE). The Voting Engagement Roundtable is a campus-wide nonpartisan initiative that includes faculty, students, staff, and community members to increase civic engagement at UM.
The Voting Engagement Roundtable needs you to help students at UM fulfill their civic duty and exercise their right to vote. One of the purposes of General Education at UM is to provide a broad foundation of liberal learning and assist students in becoming informed and involved citizens in a democratic society.
Why you? Students see faculty as trusted authority figures. By faculty, we mean all instructors of record, including graduate instructors, who will be teaching this fall. We ask that you consider taking part in our Faculty Champions Program.
What do the data say about UM? According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which collects data on student voting at over 1,100 colleges and universities, the overall voting rate for the University of Mississippi in 2016 was 35.4 percent (compared to 50.4 percent for all institutions). While 70.9 percent of voting eligible students at UM were registered to vote in 2016, only 49.9 percent of these registered students actually voted.
There is significant variation by field of study. The three fields with the highest voting rates in 2016 were “Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies” (50%), “Public Administration and Social Service Professions” (49.4%), and “Education” (45.7%), housed in the College of Liberal Arts, School of Applied Sciences, and School of Education. The three with the lowest voting rates were “Physical Sciences” (24.8%), “Engineering and Engineering Technologies” (25.6%), and “Philosophy and Religious Studies” (26.5%), housed in the School of Engineering, UMMC, and the College of Liberal Arts.
What are our goals? The Voting Engagement Roundtable aims to increase voter registration among students in the 2020 election from 70.9 to 75 percent and the overall voting rate from 35.4 to 40 percent. In order to reach our goal, we need your help.
How you can help. Please consider participating in the Faculty Champions Program by choosing any of the civic learning opportunities outlined below. Participation in the program is entirely optional and voluntary. Each of the civic learning opportunities has a number of points associated with it. Faculty receiving 30 points or more will be recognized as a Faculty Civic Champion, and the amount of points that you earn will translate to your Faculty Civic Champion tier (Bronze, Silver, Gold). Each tier has an associated badge and reward (for more information, see the Faculty Champions Guidebook here).
- Voting Engagement Blackboard Module [30 pts]: Please post to your Blackboard course sites the Voting Engagement Blackboard Module, “What You Need to Know for Elections 2020,” which explains the importance of voting and overviews the registration process;
- DebateWatch2020 [20 pts]: We will be hosting two opportunities for students to participate in DebateWatch2020 this fall semester and need your help announcing the UM event dates (9/29 Presidential debate & 10/7 VP debate) and encouraging your students to attend (faculty, students, and staff are invited to sign up here);
- Voter Ambassadors [20 pts]: Invite one of our student Voter Ambassadors to your class for a Q&A session on voter registration, absentee voting, precinct information, and transportation to polling stations (to schedule an in-class session, please email email@example.com);
- Virtual Office Hours [15 pts]: Refer your students to our Voter Ambassadors who will be holding virtual office hours to provide one-on-one guidance on filling out the voter registration form (please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an individual appointment or go to https://dce.olemiss.edu/va-schedule-9-21/);
- UM Voter Guide [15 pts]: Distribute the UM Votes “Voter Guide” and Mississippi Today’s “2020 Voter Guide,” which include detailed information about how to register, how to apply for absentee ballots, who the candidates are, and what initiatives are on the ballot this year.
The resources above can also be accessed using this central link: https://linktr.ee/umoce
[*Please note that all civic learning opportunities should be nonpartisan. Also, faculty cannot incentivize or coerce the act of voting or not voting with either rewards or threats. Where appropriate, you may consider offering extra-credit points for a civic learning opportunity, such as attending DebateWatch. For more information on permitted and prohibited voter engagement activities, please contact email@example.com or refer to the Faculty Champions Guidebook.]
We hope you will consider becoming a Faculty Champion to help increase voter registration and turnout among our students. To become a Faculty Champion, please fill out the Faculty Champion Sign-up Form. This will help us keep track of participating departments and faculty members.
After the November election, we will send out another link to confirm which of the civic learning opportunities you were able to incorporate into your classes.
The department with the highest percentage of faculty members participating will be selected as the Department Civic Champion.
NAYOUN LEE, PhD, MSW, MIA
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK
SCHOOL OF APPLIED SCIENCES
The University of Mississippi
P.O. Box 1848
GARLAND Room 312, University, MS 38677-1848