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La Salle News

November 15, 2019

National study lauds La Salle for high student-voter turnout in recent election

Flags at La Salle

While La Salle University did not appear on any recent ballots, the University was a big winner during the 2018 midterm election cycle.

La Salle earned gold-seal status from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national nonpartisan initiative aimed at increasing student voter participation and political engagement.

According to a Nov. 12 announcement by ALL IN, La Salle’s voting rate among students who are registered voters reached 41.4 percent. This marked an increase of 23 points between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. La Salle’s voting rate exceeded the 39.1 percent national average among all colleges and universities studied by ALL IN.

“We are delighted to be recognized as a national leader in student civic engagement and political activism,” said Dr. Michael Boyle, assistant professor and chair of La Salle’s Department of Political Science. “We are committed to producing students who are committed to doing good in their communities and the wider world, and we do this through many ways—voting, volunteering for campaigns, working for non-profit groups, and contributing to raising awareness and fostering debates in a number of public forums. One glance at the record of La Salle graduates in public office today gives a sense of how important civic activism is to the Lasallian tradition, and our students are proudly carrying on that tradition today.”

La Salle political science students carry out dozens of internships, both independently and for credit. The department also conducts a Lasallian Forum for Politics and Public Policy, bringing to campus high-level speakers on current events and special topics in modern politics.

This latest recognition from ALL IN comes on the heels of La Salle’s designation as a voter-friendly campus by NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

In awarding La Salle a gold seal, ALL IN analyzed enrollment records submitted to the National Student Clearinghouse, as well as publicly available voting files. Including La Salle, more than 560 campuses enrolling more than 6.2 million students have joined the ALL IN Democracy Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.

The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.

“We are excited to honor La Salle University with an ALL IN Challenge gold seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like La Salle are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”

“I am delighted to have La Salle’s student body recognized for its commitment to active citizenship,” said Regina Gauss Kosiek, Director of Campus Ministry. “At La Salle, we create a culture of engagement and the students’ dedication to strengthening our democracy is apparent through voter registration drives and providing transportation support to get students to the polls. These new voters are the future of our republic and I am pleased they haveve started the voting habit here at La Salle.”

—Christopher A. Vito