Your road to success begins with creating or joining a non-partisan student organization on campus.
This means having a group of students who all focus on the importance of voting rather than voting for a particular party or candidate. Establishing your own chapter of PA Colleges Vote or another independent organization enables your group to have access to your school’s existing student affairs, marketing, and communications divisions.
RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
Your voter mobilization organization could be a long-standing one with an established membership and volunteer base. As long as the established organization’s goals are compatible with your campaign, it could make a good fit. Good choices for existing organizations include:
- Undergraduate and graduate student governments
- Fraternity and sorority life
- A larger community service or fraternal organization
- A chapter of a national organization, such as:
Making voter registration a part of an existing organization can yield a built-in volunteer base with an established social media presence. Drawbacks include potential competing priorities and areas of focus within the organization, bureaucracy involved with club rules or procedures, and a risk that voter empowerment won’t always be a group priority.
The other way to do it is to start a new organization solely dedicated to voter empowerment. This could be your very own chapter of PA Colleges Vote or a completely independent organization. This approach would ensure the mission of the group remains dedicated to non-partisan voter registration, mobilization, and education. Sometimes, a more focused organization can be more nimble. Forming a chapter of PA Colleges Vote would allow you to use our expertise, resources, and—in some instances—start-up funding.
A priority for the new PA Colleges Vote chapter would be growing and maintaining the number of students in the group. It’s important to keep in mind that students tend to graduate, or move on to other endeavors.
STUDENT INTERNS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUNTEERS
Once you’ve established how you’re going to organize your group, it’s time to find people who want to join. You can attend student organization fairs, offer free food at meetings, and advertise across campus. Advertising can include campus flyers, social media, student email newsletters, and campus event listings.
If you’re having a hard time getting enough students to work voter registration tables several days a week, you may want to offer something in exchange.
Here is where internships and community service hours can come in.
FORMALIZING your VOTER OUTREACH team
COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUNTEERS
Many students need to fulfill community service hour requirements. Others just want to meet new people and give back to the community.
- Honors Colleges
- Fraternities and sororities
- Academic departments
- Student organizations dedicated to community service
If you need advice on how to get started, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
Many academic departments or administrative divisions offer credit hours for formalized internships and experiential learning opportunities. Students can get credit for a semester’s worth of voter outreach. In some instances, this could be a pass/fail class, or a class in which they receive a letter grade.
Some institutions specify a number of hours of work at an internship to satisfy credit hours. For example, if one credit hour is worth 40 hours of work, then a student taking an internship with your chapter of PA Colleges Vote can get you at least 120 hours of work.
Ask us how PA Colleges Vote can serve as an internship site and help to supervise and direct interns from your college in doing this important work.