This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services
. The author of this post is ECU News Services
East Carolina University reported that student voting on its campus increased 21 points in last year's presidential election, rising to 73% in 2020 from a rate of 52% in 2016. Due to this increase the university earned a Gold Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
This report comes from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE)
, creators of the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, or NSLVE. IDHE is located at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life.
Nationwide, 66% of students voted in the 2020 presidential election, up from 52% in 2016. The 14-percentage point increase outpaced that of all Americans, which jumped 6 percentage points from 61% to 67%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
"That students, often younger and first-time voters, turned out at rates commensurate with the general public is nothing short of stunning,"
said IDHE Director Nancy Thomas. "We attribute this high level of participation to many factors, including student activism on issues such as racial injustice, global climate change and voter suppression, as well as increased efforts by educators to reach students and connect them to the issues and to voting resources."
The nonpartisan Pirates Vote initiative at ECU has engaged with the student body to create the expectation that all Pirates vote and are active citizens in our democracy. Officials say the initiative is paying off, with almost 3 out of 4 Pirates voting in the 2020 election.
"It's imperative for our students to learn about and participate in democratic engagement while they are in college,"
said Dr. Virginia Hardy, ECU vice chancellor for student affairs. "When they graduate from ECU, we want them to be engaged citizens seeking ways to become influential, positive change agents in this global society. Creating pathways for students to learn and then take action to generate momentum or empower others to change is an amazing skill to possess."
The full campus report can be viewed at https://clce.ecu.edu/students/pirates-vote/
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IDHE's National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE, pronounced n-solve) is the nation's largest study of college and university student voting. Institutions must opt in to the study, and at this time, nearly 1,200 campuses of all types - community colleges, research universities, minority-serving and women's colleges, state universities and private institutions - participate. The dataset reflects all 50 states and the District of Columbia and includes 49 of the nation's 50 flagship schools. IDHE uses de-identified student records to ensure student privacy. The 2020 dataset is robust, with 8,880,700 voting-eligible students representing 1,051 colleges and universities.
About East Carolina University
East Carolina University, or ECU as it's best known, offers nearly 100 bachelor's, 68 master's and 18 doctoral degrees to 28,000 students on its Greenville, North Carolina, campus and through an acclaimed online learning program. ECU also boasts the largest business school enrollment and largest number of new nurses and education professionals produced by a four-year North Carolina university, in addition to the largest studio art program in the state. Located near Atlantic coast harbors where pirates once roamed, ECU adopted the "Pirates" mascot in 1934 for its athletics program and competes in NCAA Division 1. Visit www.ecu.edu.