Texas State named “Voter Friendly Campus” for second consecutive cycle
For the second consecutive election cycle, Texas State University has been designated a “Voter Friendly Campus” by a national nonpartisan initiative.
The designation is based on Texas State’s nonpartisan, university-wide programming and events that encouraged students to register and vote in the 2022 elections and beyond. The Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education previously named the university a Voter Friendly Campus following the 2020 election cycle.
“I am thrilled that Texas State received the Voter Friendly Campus designation for the second major election cycle in a row,” said Jessica Myers, a senior political science major and Campus Vote Project Democracy Fellow who spearheaded the efforts. “I am so proud of the Texas State community for staying engaged throughout the midterms season, and of all the stakeholders and organizations that poured their resources and effort into educating them and getting them involved.
“Voting is tough—our system is complicated, and it’s hard to parse out what you need to know or when everything’s going down,” she said. “But our double achievement proves that Texas State is consistently dedicated to helping students better understand it, and tools like Vote411.org by the League of Women Voters were vital.”
Students were the primary authors of the Texas State plan, which was organized and implemented by an informal volunteer committee. The committee worked to establish long-term goals and a list of actionable metrics based on prior knowledge and aspirations for the campus.
“Receiving the Voter Friendly Campus designation shows students and the community that Texas State University is committed to civic engagement and educating students to be good citizens,” said Erica Szpynda, Texas State’s assistant athletics director for compliance. “We sometimes take the process to register to vote for granted, so through this committee’s hard work and dedication, we were able to register over 1,000 Texans.”
The volunteer committee worked to provide opportunities for engagement in respectful discourse, promotion of voting and civic engagement, preparation for election night and post-election processing. The volunteers also partnered with nonpartisan outside groups including the League of Women Voters and MOVE Texas to share voter guides with students.
“This is an important achievement for Texas State to be a repeat awardee, especially during a midterm election cycle,” said Karina Ogunlana, assistant director for inclusive excellence, student connections and belonging. “The award recognition demonstrates how our students are committed to civic engagement and exercising their right to vote. I am proud and humbled to work with Jessica Myers and the other student leaders who came together to ensure that their peers were informed about the election and helped them get registered to vote.”
The volunteer committee contributed to a voter deputy registrar certification drive on Sept. 16 at the Hays County Government Center; held voter registration drives on Sept. 20 (National Voter Registration Day) at nine locations across the San Marcos Campus and a celebration event in Sewell Park; and organized last-day-to-register-to-vote events on Oct. 11.
While the main focus was the registration of students, many San Marcos community members took advantage of the opportunity to register to vote, with the drive-through event being especially popular. Hays County ultimately posted an election turnout of more than 50%, which included Texas State students, faculty and staff.