Harvey Mudd Named an ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting

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The ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting recognition honors institutions that promote democratic engagement by facilitating civic learning, political engagement and voter participation among their students. Harvey Mudd College joined nearly 400 colleges and universities commended in 2022 and was also awarded the Highly Established Action Plan Seal of Recognition and highlighted for its participation in the Ask Every Student Initiative.

ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national nonpartisan initiative of Civic Nation, which seeks to close voting gaps based on age and race and to create a more inclusive and equitable United States of America. The ALL IN initiative empowers colleges and universities to achieve excellence in nonpartisan student democratic engagement by providing structure, support and recognition.

Since fall 2020, Harvey Mudd has participated in civic and democratic engagement, educational programming and voter registration efforts. These activities are requirements of the Ask Every Student Initiative, and their continuation aligns with the College’s mission and is a goal of its action plan, which emphasizes the importance and value of civic and democratic engagement.

A recent event to promote student engagement at HMC was held during the 2022 General Election. In partnership with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement (OCCE), the student-led Living Learning Community (LLC) hosted a get together that allowed students to either follow or avoid the election news.

“It’s important to be informed as we’re going through the elections,” says Hannah Betts, co-president of the LLC, “but we are on a college campus, so we need to be aware of mental health issues at same time. With the Election Night Watch Party and the Ignore Election Night Party, we are trying to balance engagement with our civic responsibilities while also giving the space to be like, ‘OK, I voted and stressed about this. I need a break,’ which maybe helps students be a bit more willing to engage with voting when they need to if they can take a step back after.”

“Another thing we did was work with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement providing voter education,” says Malia Morgan, LLC co-president. “During lunchtime, they set up a table outside of the Hoch that our members would go to and just give out information on how to register to vote, how to figure out what was going to be on your individual ballot, how to check if you’re registered to vote, if your mailing address was right, how to get an absentee ballot and all the hoops that you have to jump through.”

The voter education tabling aligns with the LLC’s mission, which is to maintain a respectful environment created by students, for all students; to foster open, passionate and intelligent discussions about social justice issues; to encourage students to become leaders in challenging these issues; to support those who may feel marginalized on campus; and to vitalize Harvey Mudd College’s mission to inspire students to understand the impact of their work on society.

“We take on issues that our community members care about but don’t have time to investigate themselves. We bring them that information and present it to them in very accessible ways,” says Morgan.

“In general, I think that at least the election watch party and election ignoring party were important because of how much interest we had in them,” Betts says. “It was pretty important to help provide some sort of place where we could all get together and either discuss it or ignore it collectively.”