A student shows a sticker indicating she voted in a previous year. (SUNY Geneseo/Keith Walters '11)
Geneseo is again designated a “Voter Friendly Campus” for 2019-2020 through a program sponsored by NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project.
The program requires campuses to engage their student body and promote voter registration and voting as part of their institutional mission. The goal of the Voter Friendly Campus designation program is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process and develop a culture of democratic engagement on campus.
Geneseo has held the designation each year since the Voter Friendly Campus program started in the 2016-2017 year.
In addition to being a Voter Friendly Campus, Geneseo’s 2020 Democratic Engagement Campus Action Plan was ranked as “established,” which is the highest possible ranking.
Both distinctions are due in large part to efforts by the Geneseo Votes Coalition (GVC), an ambitious student-driven voter registration effort to have students complete voter registration forms as well as a voter education program. The program included voter registration drives, Constitution Day events, and a get-out-the-vote campaign for local elections and the upcoming November election.
Student organizers are Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassadors Rachel Wallisky '21 and Robbie Economou '21; Sakura Hamazaki '21, head office manager of the Student-Athlete Mentors; Amanda Young '21, head office manager of the GOLD Leader Mentors, and Sydney Krause '21, Student Association interim director of student affairs.
"The effort and time our students and members of the GVC spend educating and motivating our campus community to participate in our political process are profoundly inspiring,” says Nick Palumbo, assistant dean of students for leadership and service, who actively provides the tools, information, and support necessary for students to make civically responsible decisions on local, state and national levels. “Geneseo students not only value civic responsibility and engagement with the democratic process but are active agents in fostering the development of ethical and engaged citizens.”
Geneseo holds the designation through 2020.