Many of these schools in Illinois that have already organized voter registration drives during summer orientation and back to school events recognize that while voter registration and voting is a priority, having students understand the political system is imperative to building lifelong electoral participation. Schools, through classes and student organizations, are asking students to think critically about our two party system, to research a government interest group or to complete a political ideology test. A Professor of Political Science is assigning his class civic liberty cases for his students to read and analyze. Several schools have distributed, via social media and posters, websites that help students think about the implications of local and national elections. Sites such as, isidewith.com, is an example of one of the many resources schools are encouraging students to engage with when thinking about the election.
No doubt that getting students excited about the election and to the polls is a priority. It’s a priority for CEEP as well as every administrator on campus.
With CEEP support, many of the schools in Illinois have also made it a priority to make sure their students are informed, educated and excited not only about the National elections, but also the local elections. Illinois College has not only registered hundreds of students to vote, but they are getting their students excited to learn about the candidates through organized group meetings and providing information through their own website. University of Illinois-Chicago is hosting a daylong event in October which will feature local elected officials talking about their platform and the impact current state-wide legislation has on student loans, housing and safety. College of DuPage has seen many of their faculty and staff members engage with their students and talk about current events. Every school CEEP has been working with in Illinois has their calendar set for the Fall and is excited that they have been successful in their back to school efforts with voter registration. Fortunately, these schools also know that informed and engaged students also mean that they will vote on Election Day and be a strong voice in the democratic system.
Electoral engagement does not end after November 8, 2016. Schools in Illinois have been hard at work over the past year and will continue to reinforce to students that being informed and involved in one’s local political community is critical for a safe and democratic society. Illinois schools are excited to Get Out The Vote in November!