Initiatives, All In, Press Release

Ahead of Midterm Elections, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Announces New Presidents’ Council Leadership

Over 330 college and university presidents have taken the Presidents’ Commitment to 100% voter registration and turnout ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. 

(Washington, DC) Today, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge announced that 15 college and university presidents will serve on their Presidents’ Council for 2022. The ALL IN Presidents Council was launched in 2020 with the charge of supporting senior leaders in higher education to foster nonpartisan democratic engagement on their campuses. This group will lead more than 330 college and university presidents, provosts, and chancellors who have committed to full student voter registration and participation in the 2022 midterm elections through the ALL IN Presidents’ Commitment. The council will be chaired by Jonathan Alger, President of James Madison University. A full list of Presidents Council members is available here.

College students participated in the 2020 election at an exceptional level, with the average student voter turnout rate jumping from 52 to 66 percent in 2016,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “We are eager to build on this momentum by partnering with higher education leaders across the country to support all college students engaging in the political process. We are once again calling on college presidents, provosts, and chancellors to make a nonpartisan commitment to their students, campuses, and communities to uplift electoral engagement.”  

“Having served on the ALL IN Presidents Council since its inception, I’m honored to serve as the Chair and to work in partnership with senior leaders across the nation to raise awareness about the critical role of higher education institutions in uplifting nonpartisan democratic engagement and preparing students for engaged citizenship,” said Presidents Council Chair Jonathan Alger, President of James Madison University

College students have historically voted at one of the lowest rates of any group in the United States. While voter turnout among college students jumped to a record high of 66 percent in the 2020 presidential election according to a new report from the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, there is still work to be done to get students to continue to vote.

The Presidents’ Commitment is a part of the ALL IN Presidents Council’s mission to challenge institutions to make voter registration a priority on college campuses across the country. The council is also informed by past legislation surrounding voter participation, including the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, both of which frontiered avenues for college campuses to directly involve their students in the civic process.

Higher education leaders have a responsibility to prepare students to become responsible and engaged participants in the country’s democracy, and that includes exercising their right to register and vote. Leaders who make the Presidents’ Commitment pledge to:

  • Strive toward full student voter participation by designating staff to lead this effort among the campus community;

  • Acknowledge the importance of student voices in all elections, preparing students to be informed and active citizens, and creating experiences to help students become lifelong voters;

  • Empower faculty, staff, students and community stakeholders to come together and determine solutions to the problems communities face;

  • Educate voters to make informed decisions about issues and candidates in presidential, national, state and local elections; and

  • Actively participate in a democratic engagement action plan to bolster an institutional culture that supports curricular and co-curricular involvement in the electoral process.

The members have committed to supporting all institutions with nonpartisan full student voter participation efforts. The full list of signatories can be found here.