Our campus teams work at 9 universities across North Carolina to engage and mobilize students, while also advocating for youth issues on campus.
We begin to civically engage students long before Election Day through our on-campus events series. To educate and excite students about political issues, our teams invite local policymakers to our civic engagement events. These events provide thousands of students across North Carolina an opportunity to get exposed and learn more about what politics is like while also increasing their own sense of civic responsibility.
Student Voter Mobilization
To build the political power of young people, we mobilize students around our campuses to vote. We have conversations with students and present to classes and club meetings on the importance of voting and how to vote on each campus. We also partner with university offices and large university groups on social media and email campaigns to ensure students have the knowledge and resources to vote.
In the lead up to the 2022 midterms, our campus teams canvassed their communities for over 330 hours, talking to 4,000 students. As a result of these efforts, we directly registered over 350 voters and turned out thousands of student voters on our campuses.
University Pro-Democracy Advocacy
To ensure high-levels of student turnout in the long-term, our teams advocate for our no-class Democracy Days on their campuses. Democracy Day is a day during the early voting period when classes are canceled to give students time to vote. Civic engagement programming is also held to create a focus on voting during the day among students. Universities that have canceled classes for elections, on average, experience a sustained 12% increase in student-voter turnout. This day would make thousands more young voices heard in the political process.
In our inaugural Democracy Day at Duke University in 2022, we coordinated a full day of campus events with various groups on campus. We hosted events that appealed to a wide array of students interested, including art, music, and wellness events. We also hosted former-RNC chairman and Lincoln Project Co-Founder Michael Steele alongside Durham City Councilmembers. The day resulted in a doubling of early-voting compared to other early voting days.
We have obtained a large amount of support on our campuses in favor of Democracy Day. At UNC-Chapel Hill we have obtained 1,500 student petition signatures supporting Democracy Day, leading the Calendar Committee to recommend having a Democracy Day. At High Point University, we have obtained commitments from high-level administrators supporting Democracy Day. At other schools, we have gotten more student, institutional, and faculty support for implementing Democracy Day, such as more lenient attendance policies for Election Day and faculty governance body’s support.