The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge recognizes postsecondary campuses committed to improving democratic engagement, increasing student voter participation rates, and graduating students with a lifelong commitment to being informed and active citizens. Campuses commit to a set of actions, are recognized for achieving established benchmarks, and are presented awards for exemplary efforts.
The idea for the ALL IN Challenge came about in early 2015. The nonprofit behavioral design lab, ideas42, spent several months designing and vetting the idea and in late 2015 the search for a home for the program, as well as leadership, began. The ALL IN Challenge was soft launched at the Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting organized by the American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education in June 2016 and will officially launch mid-July 2016.
In order to help institutions facilitate and accelerate change, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge was established to incentivize campuses engaging in this work and recognize them for their efforts. This initiative is intentionally designed to encourage collaboration, increase the use of data in planning, and enhance intentionality. Specifically we established it because:
There’s no better time than now for institutions to remind students of their right and responsibility to be engaged in issues of the day. Though the national conversation is currently focused on the 2016 presidential election, this is not a short-term initiative. We are committed to working with institutions over the long-term to make educating for democratic engagement pervasive.
No. The ALL IN Challenge and its parent organization, Civic Nation, are both non-partisan. We do not support or oppose candidates for public office in any election, nor do we take a stand for or against any political party. Civic Nation believes that the participation of informed citizens is of the utmost importance and encourages individuals to play an active role in the U.S. democratic endeavors.
The ALL IN Challenge is focused solely on helping colleges and universities get more of their students engaged in our country’s democracy, which includes participating in elections.
No. The ALL IN Challenge was established to change long-term democratic engagement of citizens. We believe higher education should play a role in educating its students on the importance of being active and informed citizens, which includes participating in all elections–local, state, and federal–every year. We hope students who have never participated in an election will do so for the first time while in college, and continue to participate throughout their lifetimes.
Civic Nation is the home and fiscal steward of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Civic Nation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses organizing, engagement, and public awareness to address some of our nation’s most pressing challenges. The organization works with public and private partners to build tools and campaigns that turn great ideas into action.
You can learn about Civic Nation and its campaigns at civicnation.org.
Engagement is critical to the success of a democracy, and democracy is improved through more engaged and active citizens. Our goal is to help campuses educate students on the importance of actively participating in a democracy and have them graduate with a long-term commitment to do so.
Higher education has a responsibility to society and contributes to the public good by graduating students with the knowledge and skills necessary to take action to improve society and solve its most pressing challenges.
In addition to supporting and leveraging your campus’ ongoing efforts to graduate informed and active citizens, your campus will be recognized nationally for its commitment to increasing democratic engagement.
Preparing graduates for their public lives as citizens, members of communities, and professionals in a global society has historically been a responsibility of higher education. By helping students register, become informed, and vote, you are contributing to their development and education.
Any accredited, degree-granting, post-secondary institution may participate. This includes two- and four-year colleges and universities, technical colleges, and community colleges, as well as both nonprofit and for-profit institutions.
In order to be considered for recognition and awards granted in 2017, campuses must commit by September 27, 2016 (National Voter Registration Day).
No, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is free to join.
Any campus administrator or faculty member may sign up for the ALL IN Challenge as the primary contact. We suggest that before committing your campus, you receive approval from the appropriate individual or office.
The primary contact will serve as the point person for communications. This individual does not have to be the person who is leading the effort on your campus, but most often does serve in that role. Students may not serve as the primary contact.
Because the ALL IN Challenge is a campus-wide initiative, we suggest your committee be representative of your campus. We strongly suggest that the committee include representation from faculty, administration, and students.
The action plan is a document describing the activities your campus is planning to implement to increase democratic participation among students.
Launched in 2013 by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is a service to colleges and universities interested in learning about their students’ voting habits, as well as a national database for research on college student voting and, more broadly, political learning and engagement in democracy. NSLVE is the signature initiative of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education. Through research, resources, and convenings, the Institute seeks to shift institutional priorities, practices, and culture to strengthen democracy and advance social and political equity.
You can learn more about NSLVE at http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/research/nslve/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your campus will receive its report directly from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University by June 2017. It will be sent to the person authorized by your campus to receive the report and data.
Your report will remain confidential. We will not post your report online or share it with anyone. Information from the report will be used to determine recognition seals and awards.
All campuses that participate in the ALL IN Challenge will be recognized for their commitment to improving democratic engagement, increasing student voter participation rates, and graduating students with a lifelong commitment to being informed and active citizens.
Recognition and awards will be presented biennially and all participants will be honored at a formal ceremony. The first presentation of awards will be held in Washington, D.C., in fall 2017.
A recognition seal denotes that your campus has achieved significant student voter participation rates–higher than the national average. Your campus will be provided with an image it can proudly display indicating its level of achievement.
A campus earns a seal based on its student voter participation rates.
Campuses earning at least a bronze seal and achieving the highest student voting participation within a specific category will win best-in-class awards.
From among the campuses that earn a gold or platinum seal, one will be selected as the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Champion. A selection committee will make this determination, taking submitted action plans and state voting laws into consideration.
Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV)* is a diverse group of local, state, and national organizations dedicated to increasing student voter participation and civic engagement through data-driven approaches and by working with college administrators to implement the SLSV Checklist. The checklist provides a series of key steps campuses should take in order to be effective in their efforts to increase engagement. The ALL IN Challenge builds on this program. The checklist is one of many tools that campuses may use to organize their efforts.
Your plan for increasing engagement developed for completing the SLSV checklist may be submitted as your democratic engagement action plan for the ALL IN Challenge.
* The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a member of the SLSV Coalition.
This program, a collaborative initiative of the Campus Vote Project and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, offers a designation to campuses that assist students with registering and voting. In order to earn the Voter Friendly Campus Designation, campuses must complete the Students Learn Students Vote Checklist; their democratic engagement plan and efforts will be evaluated after the election. The ALL IN Challenge builds on this program, which aligns with the SLSV Checklist. In order to receive the designation, campuses must complete the SLSV checklist. These same steps are required for the ALL IN Challenge; however, campuses that achieve established benchmarks will earn recognition seals, and exemplary efforts will earn awards.
The plan for increasing engagement developed for this designation may be submitted as your democratic engagement action plan for the ALL IN Challenge.
Please note that the deadline to participate in the Voter Friendly Campus Designation for 2017-18 has passed.
* The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, the Campus Vote Project,
and NASPA are members of the SLSV Coalition.