March 9, 2021 – Today, Santa Fe College is one of over two hundred campuses in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia designated as a “Voter Friendly Campus.” The initiative, led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in 2020 elections and in the coming years.
The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. Santa Fe College was evaluated based on a campus plan about how students were informed about voter registration, and efforts to turnout student voters in 2020, how voter engagement efforts were facilitated at the college, and a final analysis of SF’s efforts – all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022.
“Santa Fe College has a tradition of educating students to be informed and active citizens,” SF President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. said. “We are committed to encouraging student involvement in the political decisions that will have an impact on their lives. I commend Sarah Blanc, our Office of Civic Engagement and Service Specialist, and her team of student volunteers, whose planning and execution helped to educate and encourage students to exercise their civic responsibility, resulting in this designation.”
As part of the effort to be designated a voter friendly campus, SF students helped more than 100 students register to vote, made over 50 class announcements and completed more than 95 hours of phone-banking to help SF students get out the vote. SF students plan to carry on the SF Votes coalition and make voting and civic engagement a year-round commitment.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as a Voter Friendly Campus, and it is a testament to our students’ engagement in the democratic process,” Sarah Blanc said. “Last year, we were fortunate to have six students serving as campus organizers for non-partisan voter engagement organizations, including Campus Vote Project, Campus Election Engagement Project, and Florida Public Interest Research Group. Those students – Austin Burton, Ethan Crosbie, Oli Knight, Trevor Mathisen, Carla Soto, and Kelly Young – worked with SF Civic Engagement and Service to launch the SF Votes coalition to organize outreach efforts for the 2020 Election. The team met weekly over Zoom and hosted virtual outreach events throughout the election season such as debate watch parties and Q&As with the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections.”
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes many Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program is ultimately serving millions of students.