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Illinois State coalition seeks feedback on voter engagement plan

Illinois State University’s Voter Engagement Coalition is currently seeking feedback on the University’s Voter Engagement Plan for 2020–2021. The plan was developed by the coalition over the last six months as part of the University’s efforts to earn the Voter Friendly Campus Designation.

View the draft plan on the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) website. Please provide feedback by May 15 using this survey.

“Political involvement is an important element of civic engagement,” said Jacqueline Lanier, co-chair of both the American Democracy Project (ADP) and the University’s Voter Engagement Coalition. “We believe in the value of student voice, and we want to continue to encourage and educate students on sharing their voices through voting. That is why we are working through the process to earn this designation.”

The Voter Friendly Campus Designation is sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Campus Vote Project, and the Fair Elections Center. It began in 2016 as a way to help institutions coordinate administrators, faculty, and student organizations in civic and electoral engagement and to ultimately develop institutional plans for voter engagement.

“The designation is very much about the process,” said Lanier. “We are thoughtfully following the suggestions from the Voter Friendly Campus organization, and we have used both those insights as well as insights from the entire Voter Engagement Coalition as we developed this draft of our plan.”

Illinois State University submitted a statement of interest in January 2020 and was officially admitted into the Voter Friendly Campus program. The University’s Voter Engagement Plan is due this month and implementation will begin over the summer. Efforts will be evaluated in January 2021, and Voter Friendly Campus designations will be awarded to honored institutions in March 2021. The designations will last through December 2022.

Illinois State’s Voter Engagement Coalition grew out of combined efforts of ADP and CESL. The coalition is co-chaired by Lanier and Harriett Steinbach, assistant director of service learning at CESL.

The Voter Engagement Coalition’s Steering Committee is made up of students, faculty, and staff representatives from student affairs, university housing, academic affairs, and academic departments all working to develop this engagement plan to build on the successes of our current civic engagement efforts.

Voter Engagement Coalition Steering Committee

  • Magalie Baker, ADP graduate assistant (through May 2020, new GA selected in July)
  • Hannah Beer, Student Government Association (through May 2020)
  • Ce-Ce Brookins, University Housing Services (through March 2020)
  • Christine Bruckner, Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (beginning June 2020)
  • Olivia Butts, School of Kinesiology and Recreation
  • Nathan Carpenter, School of Communication
  • John Davenport, Dean of Students
  • Tyler Gonigam, McLean County Clerk’s Office
  • Stephen Hunt, School of Communication
  • Jackie Lanier, Department of Health Sciences, ADP Faculty Co-Leader
  • Emily Nafziger, Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning
  • Katie Pratt, University College (through June 2020)
  • Samiat Solebo, Student Government Association (through May 2020)
  • Harriett Steinbach, Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning
  • Megan Taylor, University College
  • Liz Thomason, University Housing Services (beginning March 2020)
  • TBD, New student representation (June 2020–May 2021)

Those interested in joining the coalition, contact Steinbach at or (309) 438-3215.

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