PVCC receives national recognition for excellence in student voter engagement

Piedmont Virginia Community College has received national recognition from the “ALL IN” Campus Democracy Challenge for its civic engagement efforts to increase voter engagement and registration among students.

PVCC received a Champion Award for having the best action plan to increase voter engagement. The institution also earned a Silver Seal for achieving a student voting rate between 60 and 69 percent.

“We’re incredibly proud to receive this national recognition,” said PVCC Assistant Professor of Political Science Connie Jorgensen, who led student efforts to increase civic engagement and voter registration and turnout during the 2016 presidential election. “PVCC’s students, faculty and staff worked extremely hard in 2016 to raise awareness and encourage students to become more involved. This is an ongoing effort that we’re not planning to do just once every four years; we’ll continue promoting voting, democratic and community engagement and civic knowledge every year.”

PVCC’s action plan included a wide variety of campus events intended to raise awareness about the presidential election including debate and election night watch parties, mock debates, voter registration events both on and off-campus, the creation of a nonpartisan voter guide and an election fair where students could learn about the presidential candidates. PVCC also co-hosted the 5th District Congressional Debate in partnership with the Charlottesville Newsplex; hosted a mobile “Free Speech Wall” in partnership with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression; and reestablished PVCC’s Virginia21 Club, the student chapter of a statewide, nonpartisan organization that encourages students to actively involve themselves in higher education legislation. The college received national designation as a “Voter-Friendly Campus” in March 2017.

“I am proud to honor Piedmont Virginia Community College with an ALL IN Challenge award in recognition of their dedication, hard work and achievement,” said Zaneeta E. Daver, director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “PVCC is not only ensuring that a more representative population participates in our nation’s democracy but is educating students to be civic-minded. They are an example to be emulated.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship and make democratic participation a core value on their campuses.

Nearly 300 campuses, enrolling more than four million students, have joined the Challenge since its launch in summer 2016. Learn more about the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at .