Voter Engagement Coalition
The Voter Engagement Coalition is a non-partisan initiative supporting Illinois State's core value of civic engagement through electoral engagement. Nonpartisanship guides how we interact with all members of the Illinois State and McLean County community. It allows us to focus on building the strongest relationships possible to support voter access and create oppourtunities for students to participate in the democractic process. Participating in democratic processes are political, but do not have to be ideological. Voting is a constitutional right and we believe elections should be inclusive. We envision a democracy that is truly of all people, by all people, and for all people. Time and energy of coalition members is dedicated to supporting all students who want to participate in the electoral process, to achieve full participation in our democracy.
How We Approach Student Voter Engagement
Illinois State University approaches voter engagement in three staggered yet overlapping stages. We focus first on helping students to register to vote. Then we help students to be informed about the current election so they know who is on the ballot and access resources to help them determine how they will vote. Finally, we focus on turnout so students know the ways they can vote and receive the final encouragement to cast their ballot. The phases are grounded in campus advocates. Equipping students with registration, education, and turnout information requires the support and advocacy from faculty, staff, and students throughout campus. All of this work is underscored by voter restoration which seeks to educate the campus community on the historical and present-day barriers that marginalized peoples experience as well as strive for unequivocable voter access for all people.
Voter Friendly Campus Designation
Illinois State University is officially a Voter Friendly Campus! This national designation came after over a year of work from the Voter Engagement Coalition and the entire campus community. In January 2020, the Voter Engagement Coalition created the University's Voter Engagement Plan as a step toward earning the designation, an initiative sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Campus Vote Project's Fair Elections Center. The Coalition submitted an analysis of their plan and campus results in January 2021 and received the designation in March 2021. The initial plan and final report are listed below. See this news article for more information about the designation.
The Voter Engagement Coalition prepared an updated engagement plan for the 2022 Midterm election.
Interested in supporting student political engagement? We'd love to hear your ideas and work with you. Email the Center for Civic Engagement.
- Kelly Benacka Anderson, Athletics
- Angela Bonnell, Milner Library
- Christine Bruckner, Office of Sustainability
- Kerri Calvert, Health Promotion and Wellness
- Nathan Carpenter, School of Communication
- Tashay Dennie, Dean of Students Office
- Steve Hunt, School of Communication
- Chad Kahl, Milner Library
- Jackie Lanier, Health Sciences
- Meghan Leonard, Politics & Government
- Melissa Libert, WGLT
- Dillon Maher, Office of Admissions
- Kelsey Orrill, Campus Recreation
- Beth Porter, League of Women Voters
- Hunter Spencer, McLean County Clerk's Office
- Harriett Steinbach, Center for Civic Engagement (chair)
- Katy Strzepek, Center for Civic Engagement
- Steve Suess, School of Communication
- Megan Taylor, Kinesiology and Recreation
- Liz Thomason, University Housing Services
- Lyndsay White, College of Education
- Chad Woolard, School of Communication
Spring 2023 Election Interns
- Avery Spranger, 1st year graduate student, Political Science