DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas has been named a “Voter Friendly Campus” by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
UNT is one of 235 campuses in the nation that were honored this year. The designation recognizes institutions for planning and implementing practices that encourage their students to register and vote in the 2020 elections and beyond.
“UNT is dedicated to preparing students to be engaged citizens in our democracy,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Elizabeth With. “I could not be prouder of the efforts by our student leaders and staff to earn this all-important designation. Free and fair elections are the foundation of every healthy democracy and preparing our students for responsible stewardship of a robust democracy is a responsibility we take seriously.”
“I’m proud of the efforts our students, faculty and staff have made to ensure our students have access to exercise their fundamental right to vote.”
During the 2020 election season, UNT implemented its North VOTExas campaign, the university’s first comprehensive communication plan collaborating with individuals and departments across campus to promote voting and voter resources at UNT. By creating the new website, vote.unt.edu, the campus community had a devoted information page to understand how to vote, where they could vote and other frequently asked questions.
The university worked with the Denton County Election Commission to secure UNT as a polling location for both early voting and election day.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no in-person voter registration drives could take place, but students worked creatively to find alternative ways to help, including the Student Government Association’s Drive-In Voter Registration Event and a Social Media Awareness Day.
The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to boost efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. UNT was evaluated based on a campus plan about how it would register, educate and turnout student voters in 2020, how it facilitated voter engagement efforts on campus and a final analysis of its efforts.