(MAHWAH, NJ) -- The recent midterm elections saw the second highest turnout of young voters in the past three decades and this didn’t happen by accident. In fact, Ramapo College of New Jersey students were highly intentional in their efforts to promote voter education and engagement, and as a result, Ramapo garnered national attention as one of the most engaged campuses for non-partisan student democratic engagement.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) recognized Ramapo as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting. ALL IN recognizes colleges and universities for making intentional efforts to increase student voter participation.
“It is inspiring to see our students engage so meaningfully in leading these efforts in support of the democratic process,” said Cindy Jebb, Ramapo College President, “This type of effort and service requires critical inquiry, interpersonal acumen, and a considered appreciation for what it means to be part of a democratic society. And we are so pleased that our students have found Ramapo to be a welcoming and encouraging place where they are able to develop and apply their civic and service energies.”
Ramapo joins a select group of 394 colleges and universities nationwide (including Rutgers New Brunswick, Princeton, MIT, and others) that have been named by ALL IN for completing these four actions: Participating in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge; Sharing 2020 NSLVE Reports with campus voting data with ALL IN; Developing and submitting a 2022 democratic engagement action plan with ALL IN; and Having a current signatory to ALL IN’s Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation.
Civic engagement has become a cornerstone of the Ramapo College experience. In 2021, Ramapo was commended by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) for outstanding student voting turnout – 77.1% — for the 2020 election, outpacing the nationwide average by 11% and representing an increase of more than 22% from 2016.
“We are honored to earn ALL IN’s Most Engaged Campus Designation this year. It is an affirmation of the team effort that has gone into our work to ignite student civic engagement and democratic participation,” said Karen Booth, Coordinator for Civic and Political Engagement at Ramapo College. “Without our students themselves, especially our Andrew Goodman Foundation ambassadors, this recognition wouldn’t be possible. Our students understand the issues facing them and our society. They put this understanding into action by working together to promote voter turnout and active citizenship at RCNJ. This recognition strengthens our resolve to continue the work to institutionalize our nonpartisan student democratic engagement practices even more deeply.”
Ramapo student Sydney Karlin ’23 said she felt that it was an incredible privilege to work with fellow students on such an important issue. “I am beyond humbled that we have received the ALL IN’s Most Engaged Campus Designation this year. I hope that through my work in the CCEC and as an Andrew Goodman Ambassador that I can continue to provide resources for those looking to get more civically engaged both locally and nationally,” said Sydney.
“College student voter turnout has increased since 2016, and this increase has been driven by students. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is excited to expand our ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll to recognize these student voting champions across the country,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “These students registered voters, served on their campus voting coalitions, spearheaded voter education efforts, advocated for campus polling locations and organized other voter engagement efforts to ensure their peers were confident and informed voters. We are excited to see what they continue to accomplish ahead of the 2022 midterms.”
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge empowers colleges and universities to achieve excellence in nonpartisan student democratic engagement. Campuses that join the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge complete a set of action items, with the support of ALL IN Challenge staff, to institutionalize nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation on their campus. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge currently engages over 9 million students from more than 950 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Campuses can join the ALL IN Challenge here.