TDC Newsletter- March 2014 Edition

Good afternoon, TDC Campus Coordinators!

It’s been a busy March here at TDC—

American Democracy Project National Manager Jen Domagal-Goldman and I have reviewed nearly 175 proposals for the national meeting in June; acceptances went out earlier this month, so be sure to check your email for those if you have not already. We’ve also been working to line up plenary- and featured-session speakers (which we will be announcing in the coming months) and to program some stellar pre-conference workshops for you, including TDC Day (again, details to come soon).

But more than anything this past month, TDC has been focused on Engage the Election 2014, and it is with great pleasure that I share with you today two #E214—our hashtag for this signature initiative (i.e., E2—Engage Election—2014)—opportunities, both of which your campus should take advantage of (and soon, as both are time sensitive and have deadlines and events fast-approaching). There will be more to come on #E214 in the near future, but for now, we encourage you to consider how a study on student voting behavior and a voter registration tool can help your campus Engage the Election 2014!

Because your campus could learn a lot about the voting behavior of its students.

We promoted this last year, but another opportunity for TDC schools to get involved has come up. We are proud that almost half of our TDC colleges have already signed up to participate, and we would love to see more of you join this cohort.

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) recently received a grant to study college student voting rates.  260 universities and colleges have already signed up, including 32 members of TDC, which is one of the largest percentages of a specific association/initiative (44%), and 43 American Democracy Project member institutions.

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) presents an unprecedented opportunity for your campus to learn in aggregate numbers:

  • How many of your students are eligible to register to vote
  • How many registered and/or voted, and where (locally or elsewhere)
  • The way your students voted (regular or absentee ballot)

To join the study, you must sign up by April 10th 2014 (click for more details).

You can read more about this here, and a recording of the Engage the Election 2014 webinar that we held with NSVLE is available here; you can download the PDF of the presentation slides by clicking here.

TurboVote’s Special Deal for TDC Member Institutions
Because if you already participated in NSLVE and know that your campus could use a boost in efforts to engage students in elections, this organization can help.

Because of TDC’s special relationship with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)—this is where TDC is physically housed in Washington, DC, along with AASCU’s American Demcoracy Project—TDC member institutions are being invited to take advantage of TurboVote’s online voter engagement platform at a discounted rate, made possible through the generous support of the Rita Allen Foundation and a partnership between AASCU and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

TurboVote is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps students vote in all of their elections (local, state and national) through a “one-stop-shop” online voter registration and engagement platform. With TurboVote technology, institutions can strategically promote and monitor voter engagement simply by sharing a single link with their students. Through this link, students can register to vote, request an absentee ballot and receive reminders with important election information, dates and deadlines.

TurboVote provides its service at cost to colleges and universities. Institutions pay fees to TurboVote to reimburse the organization for marginal costs it incurs to serve more users. The current subscription model requires that institutions pay an annual base fee of $1,000 for the first 4,000 users and reimburse TurboVote for mailing costs at a rate of $1.17/mailing.

As part of this grant opportunity, the first 100 institutions to sign-up with TurboVote under the partnership pay a base fee of ONLY $500 for the first year and will have the first $700 dollars in mailing costs subsidized. In addition to the reduced costs, campuses participating in this grant will receive technical support and strategy from TurboVote as well as educational programming and targeted professional development opportunities from AASCU and NASPA through publications, webinars, and events.

If you are interested in being one of this select group of institutions, please send an email indicating your interest or your desire to participate to me at souths@aascu.orgASAP. I will follow up with further details and next steps to ensure your participation and answer questions. There will also be an informational webinar on Thursday, April 10th at 2 p.m. EST; here is the link to participate:

Coordinators, I know this email has been long, but I would encourage you to look into these opportunities and reach out to your colleagues and administration about them, as they offer powerful information and a means to more fully Engage the Election 2014!

Also, remember to get registered for the national meeting before April 30th in order to secure the EarlyBird rate (also, as an FYI, NSLVE and TurboVote will both have a presence at the national meeting), and be sure to stay up on the most recent news via the blog or our newsletter, which you can sign up for here.

Have a wonderful April!

Happy Monday,