Ask Your College – to Ask Every Student
This is a non-partisan action for anyone to use.
In the time of our COVID-19 challenge, Ask Your College is a growing, nonpartisan network of volunteers who are stepping up for democracy. Volunteers ask a college they know to commit to actively working toward the goal of full student participation, and making a pandemic-proof plan now to register every eligible student to vote in 2020. This includes taking responsibility for registering students whether they are residing at school or at home. Ask Your College empowers you to make a difference for democracy right now.
Many of us have a relationship to a college, perhaps as alums, parents of students, staff, or faculty. Whatever your connection, you can ask a college you care about to rise to this moment by ensuring every one of America’s 20 million college students is empowered to vote.
This campaign is powered by good news. Research has shown that when colleges take a few minutes to individually ask every student to register to vote, colleges shatter voter registration records. Some campuses now reach 91%, 93%, and even 95% voter registration rates. More students vote as a result.
However, since this innovation is recent, most college presidents do not yet know about it or have not yet made plans to register all of their own eligible students to vote. Presidents need urgent encouragement to prioritize student participation in democracy. Leaders of colleges you care about need to hear from you, so more of them start now to make a pandemic-proof plan to register all students to vote this summer and fall.
By taking just a few minutes to ask a college you care about—and by asking other people in your networks to do the same—we can together defy the pandemic, and inspire a culture of strong student civic participation in 2020 and for years to come.
You can follow the steps below in this Action Kit to participate in the Ask Your College campaign. If you have questions about this campaign, or suggestions for improving our Action Kit, please write to us at: email@example.com.
1. Sign Up Now
Use the Volunteer Action Form to sign up and identify colleges you’re connected to.
From here, our team can support you in making your ask, if needed. However, you do not need to wait for any email, unless you need help. Regardless, make sure to continue with the next steps in this action kit.
MAKE YOUR ASK
1. Send a Letter
Your goal is to have the president of your college make the Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation, an initiative of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The most direct approach is to edit the appropriate sample president’s letter and email it directly to the college president.
You can learn if your college is a member of ALL IN here (by putting in the state of your college). If your campus is already a member, send this version. If not, use this version. We encourage you to personalize the letters to make them your own. Knowing about your campus’s current efforts will help you choose and tailor the right letter. To use the sample documents, click the link and copy/paste the contents into a blank document.
When you email the president, please bcc: firstname.lastname@example.org so our team can follow your progress. We also recommend copying the Vice President of Student Affairs.
2. Recruit Others to Join You
If you have contacts with other college community members – such as faculty, alumni, and others – recruit them to co-sign the letter to the president.
We have created social media options (Facebook, email, petition) for your use:
- Building Your Network – Facebook Post
- Building Your Network – Email Message
- Petition to the College President (Change.org or MoveOn.org)
1. With Your College
Especially in this moment, college leaders are extremely busy. If you do not receive a response to your initial outreach in 2-3 weeks, we recommend following up and bcc’ing: email@example.com.
If you can contact the college leaders by phone, you can use these talking points:
2. With Our Team
Fill out this Volunteer Self-Reporting Form as you complete actions so that we can track the campaign’s progress and support you along the way.
3. With Your Networks
To recruit more volunteers for the campaign we create some sample posts for you to use: