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Inspiring Student Voters: CalArts Earns Three ALL IN Challenge Awards

Inspiring Student Voters: CalArts Earns Three ALL IN Challenge Awards
Voter registration at CalArts, fall 2019. L to R: Student Gray Gall; Abigail Salling, Assistant to the Office of the President; CalArts President Ravi Rajan. Courtesy of Calarts.

CalArts’s awards include the Platinum Seal for Excellence, which recognizes institutions with student voting rates of 50 percent or more. The average rate is 39.1 percent.

This year, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge honors higher-education institutions, educators, and students for excellence in student voter engagement during the 2018 midterm elections.

Valencia, CA—November 12 — Today, the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony recognized colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) was among only five institutions to receive the Champion Award for most improved student voter rate of all participating campuses. In addition, CalArts received a Platinum Seal for achieving a voter rate above 50 percent, and earned a Best in Class Award for having the overall most improved voting rate at a small, private participating institution. Click here for a full list of seal awardees.

CalArts’s President Ravi Rajan made voter registration and participation a priority since he came to the Institute in 2016. “CalArts is proud to receive this national recognition for our efforts,” said Rajan. “As a community of artists, we are committed to engaging the world to reduce apathy, increase engagement, and prepare civic-minded citizens to help solve the country’s, and the world’s, most pressing challenges. In the 2018 elections, CalArts’s students voted at a rate of 10 percent over the national student average, and these awards honor our students’ commitment to participate as agents of change in our democracy.”

Student participation in elections has increased from the 2014 midterm election to the recent 2018 midterm election. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased by 21 points from 19 percent to 40 percent. In 2018, CalArts raised the voting rate of registered students from 10.3 percent to 62.4 percent to achieve a 52.2 percent gain. Click here to explore details about CalArts voting data.

“We are excited to honor CalArts with an ALL IN Challenge platinum seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like CalArts are changing cultures on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher-education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campuses.

More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.