For Immediate Release: September 14th, 2020
Harrison Feinman and Eva Gonzalez, Directors of Penn Leads the Vote
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Gutmann signed the Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to increase voter turnout at Penn
Philadelphia, PA — On Friday, September 11th, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann signed the Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. In doing so, Gutmann acknowledged that institutions of higher education have a responsibility to prepare students to be informed and active citizens; that students’ voices are important in all elections; and that there is a need for both curricular and cocurricular experiences to shape students into lifelong voters.
Gutmann’s signature also serves as an endorsement of Ivy League Votes, an initiative which is committed to achieving 100% voter turnout among the Ivy League Schools. All eight members of the Ivy League participate in the program, which is part of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
Gutmann is now the 7th Ivy League president to sign the Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation. Currently, 237 college and university presidents nationwide have signed this commitment to 100% student voter participation.
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is dedicated to increasing voter turnout and democratic engagement on college campuses. It is a part of the non-profit organization Civic Nation. The program’s official mission is to “change campus culture and institutionalize democratic engagement activities and programs on college campuses.”
Penn has taken major steps in their preparation for the 2020 election. In 2019, Penn was named a “voter friendly campus” by NAPSA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and Fair Election Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP), making it the only Ivy League school to earn the designation. In addition, Penn Leads the Vote’s 2020 Action Plan was given the rating of “established” by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and the Voter Friendly Campus Program, the highest rating that was awarded
Gutmann’s signature comes less than two months before the day of the 2020 election, November 3rd. In the 2016 presidential election, 50.1% of Penn students voted, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, (NSLVE), conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. Despite the many difficulties that this fall poses for Penn voters who will be spread out across the country and with an election that will be conducted in large part by mail, Penn Leads the Vote remains committed to increasing student voter turnout for the 2020 election. President Gutmann’s signature demonstrates that the University of Pennsylvania remains a dedicated partner in these efforts.
Penn Leads The Vote (PLTV) was established in 2004 and operated by Fox Leadership until 2014. PLTV was re-established in 2018 in the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. PLTV works in collaboration with the Office of Government and Community Affairs, which also oversees Penn’s institutional compliance with voter engagement requirements and on-campus polling location engagement. PLTV receives funding from the Netter Center, OGCA, and Fox Leadership. PLTV also receives funding and advising from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation for furthering our message through design.