ATU Retains Voter Friendly Campus Status for 2023-24

Voter Friendly Campus Badge 2023-24

Arkansas Tech University is the lone institution of higher learning in Arkansas to earn the Voter Friendly Campus designation for 2023-24.

Created in 2016, the Voter Friendly Campus initiative is the result of a partnership between the Campus Vote Project and professional organization NASPA, Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education.

Institutions applying to earn the Voter Friendly Campus designation were required to write a campus plan about how they would engage student voters in 2022, facilitate voter education and engagement efforts on their campus and write a final analysis on their efforts.

In the end, 258 campuses from 38 states were selected as a Voter Friendly Campus for 2023-24.

ATU has been named a Voter Friendly Campus following each of the last three national election cycles (2018, 2020 and 2022). Arkansas Tech is the only university or college in Arkansas to ever earn the recognition.

“It is essential that we create leaders who are aware of the world around them and prepared to create solutions that benefit our society,” said Dr. Keegan Nichols, ATU vice president for student affairs. “That is the focus of our civic engagement efforts at Arkansas Tech, and we look forward to living up to the Voter Friendly Campus designation by continuing our non-partisan efforts on an ongoing basis.”

ATU’s voter engagement program for the 2022 cycle was led by Megan Bell, coordinator of civic and community engagement and leadership development in the ATU Department of Campus Life, and Makenzie Addis, graduate assistant in the ATU Department of Campus Life.

Chelsea Neal, ATU associate dean for campus life and the student union, also recognized Angela Black, ATU associate librarian, and the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center staff for their partnership in ATU’s voter engagement efforts.

Librarians and staff from Pendergraft Library, staff from the ATU Division of Student Affairs, ATU faculty members and volunteers from ATU registered student organization Do Something collaborated to register 104 individuals to vote during National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 20, 2022.

In addition, Pendergraft Library hosted a non-partisan voter education series entitled “Tech Votes” during the fall 2022 semester. Seven political candidates spanning various state offices and political parties participated in the series, which sought to broaden awareness about voting and civic offices.

Additional “Tech Votes” guest speakers included Pamela Luker from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and Dr. John Krebs from the League of Women Voters. The series was attended by more than 130 members of the ATU community.

“This was truly an all-campus, unified effort to promote voter education and participation,” said Black. “I was proud that the library played a part in this endeavor. There are many people here who were supporting these efforts.”

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