Phoenix, AZ – South Mountain Community College (SMCC) was named a Voter Friendly Campus, one of 258 campuses in 38 states and the District of Columbia by Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The initiative recognizes institutions that have planned and implemented practices that encourage their students to register and vote.
The mission of the 2023 Voter Friendly Campus designation aims to bolster colleges and universities’ efforts to help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process – every year, not just during years featuring federal elections.
SMCC was evaluated based on a written plan for how the college planned to register, educate, and turn out student voters in 2022, and how it facilitated voter engagement efforts on campus.
"Since 2015, South Mountain Community College has been actively engaged in efforts to increase student voter registration, student voting and civic engagement opportunities, and to increase the level of civil discourse with our students and community," said Dr. Cate McNamara, SMCC Faculty Senate President. "We are proud to once again receive the NASPA / Campus Vote Project designation of Voter-Friendly Campus. This work remains a collaborative effort with our administration, faculty, staff, and community partners and continues to be prioritized at SMCC."
As part of SMCC’s effort to be designated a Voter Friendly Campus, SMCC has continued to focus on building non-partisan coalitions that help administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders engage students in federal, state and local elections, working to promote a more equitable and inclusive democracy, and to overcome the ever-changing barriers to voting.
In 2022, the college worked with community agencies such as Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) Action Fund, Maricopa County Voter Registration Committee, Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission and NARAL Pro-Choice America to provide tabling opportunities and empower students on campus with information and education to register to vote, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves on candidates and issues, navigate confusing voting laws, and turn out at the polls.
The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses, collectively serving over 3.5 million students. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes 49 Minority Serving Institutions and 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as 41 Community Colleges.