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OU Joins Campuses Nationwide in Effort to Be ‘Voter Friendly’

OU Joins Campuses Nationwide in Effort to Be ‘Voter Friendly’

Sheild logo "Voter Friendly Campus 2021-2022"

The University of Oklahoma was recently designated a “Voter Friendly Campus” for planning and implementing practices that encouraged students to register and vote in the 2020 elections and in the coming years.

The initiative is led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and the Voter Friendly Campus designation aims to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process.

OU was evaluated based on a campus plan about how it would register, educate and turnout student voters in 2020; how it facilitated voter engagement efforts on campus; and a final analysis of overall efforts – all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022.  

As part of their effort to be designated a voter friendly campus, OU’s Oklahoma Votes executive team worked with a bipartisan cross-campus coalition to host the largest college voter registration drive in the state; provide reliable non-partisan voter education; and advocate for the installment of an on-campus polling location. The team also facilitated a statewide college voting summit and adapted to the changing demands of voter engagement work during the pandemic by integrating online resources, like a voting information website and voting information Canvas modules.

“We’re confident that the tools that allowed us to increase voter participation on campus over the past year will help us reach even more students when we return to on-campus activities in the fall,” said Lauren Schueler, director of N.E.W. Leadership and Civic Engagement and Women’s Leadership Programs, Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center.

The OU Voter Engagement Campus Plan was developed under the direction of Schueler and members of the Civic Engagement Fellowship program. Oklahoma Votes, under Schueler’s direction, is a student-led nonpartisan organization focused on voter registration, education and mobilization.

“This project was important because students and youth often don’t understand how important it is that they participate in our democratic processes,” Schueler added. “By making civic engagement accessible on campus, we have the opportunity to help students become active and engaged citizens – practices that we hope they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

OU has made a strong statement about the civic mission of higher education to prepare students to be engaged participants in our democracy and is excited to continue engaging students through 2021, 2022 and beyond.

Oklahoma Votes is planning a myriad of events for students and the community in the coming year, including an Ask the Expert series, City Council forums co-sponsored with SGA for the run-off elections in Oklahoma City and Norman, and membership meetings. To keep informed, visit, or follow the initiative on Instagram at ok_votes, Twitter at @OklahomaVotes, and on Facebook at OKVotes. Additionally, questions may be emailed to

The 237 institutions nationwide designated this year as Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural and urban campuses.

By Jerri Culpepper

Article Published:  Wednesday, March 10, 2021