The Students Learn Students Vote (“SLSV”) Coalition, the largest nonpartisan network in the United States dedicated to growing college student voter participation, launched the 2023 National Student Vote Summit today in partnership with the University of Maryland, College Park (“UMD”).
The three-day gathering brings together more than 200 people representing campuses and organizations from 25 different US states and the District of Columbia, including students, staff, and faculty from 65 different colleges and universities, staff members from 62 different nonprofit organizations, and representatives from three different local election offices.
The November 15th opening reception in Washington, DC, is scheduled to feature an appearance and remarks by Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. The following morning, US Election Assistance Commissioner Ben Hovland will take part in the opening plenary discussion on the UMD campus, and announce the launch of the Help America Vote College Program grant competition, which will result in the distribution of an anticipated $1 million in grants to accredited colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and local and state election offices to recruit, train and support students serving as poll workers on Election Day.
The November 16th closing plenary will feature University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines, Weber State University President Brad Mortensen, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Executive Director Jen Domagal-Goldman, and Campus Compact President Bobbie Laur. The Summit will end on Friday, November 17th with remarks by Eric Luedke, Chief Legislative Officer to Maryland Governor Wes Moore. Throughout the Summit attendees will work together to craft shared goals and discuss strategies to be implemented on hundreds of college campuses nationwide to maximize student voter participation in the 2024 presidential election.
“We’re thrilled that the National Student Vote Summit is bringing together such a strong and diverse cohort that’s unified in its commitment to help students make their voices heard in our democracy,” said SLSV Coalition Executive Director and Co-Founder Clarissa Unger. “The enthusiasm and energy surrounding this gathering will help student voters build on the momentum of past election cycles, and further establish themselves as a national voting powerhouse in 2024.”
This year’s Summit is the first in-person gathering of its kind since 2019, and is co-hosted by the SLSV Coalition, UMD, TerpsVote, the Maryland Democracy Initiative, and Transform Mid-Atlantic. Their collaboration helped make the UMD campus the ideal site for two days of learning, training, networking, agenda-setting, and planning for the 2024 election cycle.
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s world leaders, but they need not wait to graduate to change the world—they have the power to influence their future right now by participating in our democratic processes, “ says Student Affairs Vice President Patty Perillo. “As educators, it’s our responsibility to prepare students to be civically engaged citizens, and am delighted to welcome the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition to the University of Maryland to participate in this critical work.”
The 2023 Summit will help student vote leaders throughout the country build on the extraordinary growth in student voter participation in recent years. In the last presidential election, the national college student voter turnout rate increased by 14 percentage points – twice the overall national growth in turnout – according to the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement. As a result, 66% of all college student voters cast a ballot in the 2020 election, matching the general population after years of comparatively low voting rates. The 2023 National Student Vote Summit marks a jumping-off point for student vote leaders to help their campus communities meet or exceed that success in 2024.
About the SLSV Coalition
The SLSV Coalition is the national hub and largest nonpartisan network in the United States dedicated to increasing college student voter participation. The Coalition convenes and connects partners, campuses, and students with each other and with resources and programming towards achieving a vision of ensuring that every student has easy and equal access to participate in every election. They use data, relationships, celebration, and easy-to-follow planning structures, to help campus and local leaders register and turnout more student voters every year. The SLSV Coalition is a project of NEO Philanthropy. NEO Philanthropy is strictly nonpartisan, and does not support or oppose any candidate or party.
About the University of Maryland Division of Student Affairs
The University of Maryland Division of Student Affairs (DSA) aims for every student to thrive academically, personally, and socially. Committed to the holistic development of students, its 16 units support and enhance student learning and growth, belonging, health, and well-being. The Division of Student Affairs creates countless opportunities for students to not only discover what they want to do in the world, but who they want to be. For more information, visit studentaffairs.umd.edu