Suffolk University has a tradition of civic engagement among its students, which was recognized when it received a silver seal from the inaugural ALL IN Challenge Awards program for achieving a student voting rate between 60 percent and 69 percent.

The awards recognize colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates.

“We at Suffolk University are proud of our students’ civic spirit and delighted that it has been recognized on a national level,” said Government Department Chair Rachael Cobb. “Students here have formed political actions clubs representing both parties, and, in addition to campus voter registration drives, we encourage students to get involved by serving as poll workers, teaching them the ins and outs of running for office, and encouraging internships that get them involved in the political process.”

Suffolk students’ high voting rates previously were recognized in a national study of learning, voting, and engagement conducted by Tufts University, which classified Suffolk as a “high-voting-rate campus.” Only 90 of the more than 900 colleges and universities studied were placed in that category.

The study, “Democracy Counts: A Report on U.S. College and University Student Voting” from Tufts’ Institute for Democracy in Higher Education, shows that student voting went from 45.1 percent of eligible voters in 2012 to 48.3 percent in 2016 – a 7 percent improvement. 

“I am proud to honor Suffolk University with an ALL IN Challenge silver seal in recognition of its dedication, hard work, and achievement,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “Suffolk University is not only ensuring that a more representative population participates in our nation’s democracy, but is educating students to be civic-minded, an example to be emulated.”

The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship and to make democratic participation a core value on their campus. By joining the challenge, campuses commit to:

Convening a campus-wide committee that includes members from academic affairs, student affairs, and the student body, as well as any other relevant stakeholders

  • Developing and implementing an action plan to improve democratic engagement
  • Participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement in order to measure student voting rates
  • Sharing their campus’ action plan and study results in order to be eligible for a recognition seal and/or awards.

More than 300 campuses, enrolling more than 4 million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016.