How To Help Students Become Active Citizens
Preparing students for active citizenship is part of Bowdoin’s mission, and any staff or faculty member who works with students can make a difference. Here are some simple tactics:
- Ask students, “where are you voting this fall?” Ask about their plan to vote (where/how/when, and deadlines). Invite ineligible students to mobilize voters through the love vote.
- Ask students how they are participating in democracy, beyond voting. Following up on the question,
- If they express ambivalence, remind them that their voice/vote/involvement can make a difference (eg close elections, local needs to make democracy work)
- If they express uncertainty about choosing which state they want to vote in, we have a tool to help them decide
- If they are unsure how to proceed, our TurboVote tool makes it easy, and we are happy to answer questions.
- If they are enthusiastic, encourage them to email BV and be a volunteer Voting Captain this fall
Ideas for Faculty:
- Put Election Day and/or other election info on your syllabus calendar (see syllabus samples)
- Discuss your attendance policy for election day – what if students need to vote in person? Or want to be a poll worker?
- Add our quick Fall 2020 voter info slides to one of your lectures (and watch for updated version in early October).
- Show a tiny motivating video (1:23)
- Have students write about/discuss the public relevance of your discipline and the course topic.
- Talk about Elections in class (guidance).
- Here are more resources to help you promote civic learning and participation.