Lake Michigan College has been designated a “Voter Friendly Campus” by national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
LMC joins 15 colleges and universities in the state of Michigan, and 123 in the United States who earned the designation for promoting democratic engagement efforts for students on campus.
The college launched its first LMC Votes! campaign last year on Constitution Day. By November, a team of Political Science students, employees and volunteers had collected 1,500 pledges to vote and helped 107 students from all LMC campuses to register to vote for the first time.
“Being viewed as a Voter Friendly Campus is a reflection of what students learn in our classrooms and how it applies to their everyday lives,” said LMC political science professor Tiffany Bohm, who spearheaded the campaign and introduced a special topics elections course last fall. “Not only did students in the Campaigns and Elections class learn about civic engagement, they helped their friends and family get involved in the democratic process.”
The LMC Votes! team distributed postcards, made signs and held raffles. They gave away free copies of the U.S. Constitution and held a panel on voting rights.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and candidates Dr. Matt Longjohn and Joey Andrews visited students at the Benton Harbor campus. LMC hosted the League of Women Voters Berrien Cass County and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to promote Registration Day.
They helped absentee voters mail their ballots securely, and on Election Day, provided shuttles from the Benton Harbor campus to various polling locations. On Election Night, students, employees and volunteers representing all parties gathered to watch live polling results together.
About the Voter Friendly Campus Designation
The Voter Friendly Campus designation is part of the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in our democracy. The designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses. Designations are valid through December 2020. Learn more at their website.
About National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.
About Campus Vote Project
The Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan election reform organization working to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies and improve election administration. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.
Photo: LMC students, from left, Daniel Acker and Keith McCall, show off their LMC Votes! shirts with LMC Votes! coordinator and political science instructor Tiffany Bohm.