Published: Oct. 12, 2020 By

Want to beat the Rams? While football season may not be what it was due to COVID-19, a friendly rivalry with our neighbors to the north is happening at the polls.

CU Boulder is joining several high-profile challenges that inject a fun sense of competition among Pac-12, in-state or other peer universities as a way to motivate students to get out and vote.

All efforts are aligned to the ​ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, of which CU Boulder is a part. The campaign strives to boost student engagement in the historic 2020 presidential election​.

The ALL IN challenge is a national, nonpartisan program supporting and recognizing colleges and universities for their commitment to helping students form the habits of active and informed citizenship and making democratic participation a core value on their campuses. 

Participating campuses have agreed to focus on institutionalizing efforts to foster student civic learning, political engagement and voter participation. Along with the hundreds of other ​campuses joining the challenge​, CU Boulder is committed to cultivating the next generation of informed and engaged citizens who are essential to a healthy democracy. 

“Preparing students with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed for their public lives as contributing members of our democracy and their professions has historically been a responsibility of higher education,” said Chancellor Philiip P. DiStefano, one of more than 250 higher education leaders who have signed on to the challenge. “We are excited to be part of this national effort.” 

CU Boulder is also participating in the Colorado Campus Voting Challenge and a Pac-12 Voting Challenge

Various other voter efforts underway on campus include: a voter registration event sponsored by the Program Council featuring comedian Ilana Glazer on Oct. 19; debate watch parties; educational panels; law student visits to virtual classrooms to educate undergraduates; and more. Students are encouraged to register to vote as soon as possible and drop off ballots or mail them prior to Election Day to avoid crowded polling areas. 

All the voter education efforts are aimed at turning around historically low voter turnout among college-aged youth. In 2016, 55.7% of eligible CU Boulder student voters cast a ballot, compared to 50.4% of their peers nationally. 

​As part of the challenge, CU Boulder is committing to convening stakeholders campuswide and sharing student voting rates from its ​National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement​ (NSLVE) campus report in order to earn a national seal and be eligible for awards.

“Today, young people are truly seeing how the decisions their elected officials make impact their everyday lives, and in this critical time, ensuring that they are able to make their voices heard safely is critical,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. 

The ALL IN Challenge benefits from the support and insight of a national ​advisory board​ and works in partnership with organizations, such as: the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)’s American Democracy Project, Campus Compact, NASPA – Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition and others to advance the shared goal of informed and increased participation in democracy.