Arcadia Votes Awarded Grants to Encourage Voter Turnout

October 14, 2020 Caitlin Burns

Arcadia students creating a tactical plan for the Arcadia Votes initiative.

Students creating a tactical plan for the Arcadia Votes initiative at the Pennsylvania Student Voters Summit last February.

By Nikolai Kachuyevski '21

Arcadia Votes, which aims to increase the University community’s voter registration and participation, has received two grants to support a final push before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The grants, totaling $2,000 from the Students Learn Students Vote Fall Mobilization movement and University of Pennsylvania’s Campus Voter Engagement Stipend, provide funding for postage and printing of postcards, and prizes and food for the Campus Debate Watch on Oct. 22, which will be held virtually

“Campus response to the Arcadia Votes initiative has been fantastic, and this funding gives us the opportunity to make it even more engaging,” Dr. Alison LaLond Wyant said, founding director of the Office of Social Impact and Innovation at Arcadia. “We plan to use the money to mail get-out-the-vote materials to our student partners' home addresses, ‘cater’ our campus debate watch party through gift certificates for food delivery, and add exciting raffle prizes to our voter challenges.”

Arcadia Votes has been encouraged by their progress so far, reporting that Arcadia’s women’s soccer, women’s basketball, Arcadia For The Kids (FTK), and Ultimate Frisbee have all reached 100 percent voter registration. 

The initiative is hoping to exceed the standard set by the University community in the previous election. In 2016, Arcadia University participated in Tufts University's National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, which showed that Arcadia students registered and voted at higher rates than the national average for college students:

Voting among eligible Arcadia students: 59.9 percent
National average of voting among eligible college students: 48.3 percent

Voter registration among eligible Arcadia students: 80.7 percent
National average of voter registration among eligible college students: 70.6 percent

Voting among registered Arcadia students: 74.3 percent
National average of voting among registered college students: 68.5 percent

The final day to register to vote in Pennsylvania is Oct. 19. Information about voter registration deadlines in other states can be found on Vote.gov.

social innovation