Claiming the Future One Vote at a Time
Agnes Scott College students have been recognized for their civic engagement multiple times during the 2022-23 academic year.
Scotties don’t shy away from challenging issues, they lean into them. They always have.
While Agnes Scott prepares its students to claim their place in the world, community leadership and activism remain a core pillar of the educational experience. The desire to change the future often starts locally with a problem and the search for a solution. In many instances, it begins to shift by the power of a vote.
Civic engagement is an essential piece of what the Center for Leadership, Engagement and Service (CLES) does at the college. They work with students on letters to government officials and ensure they get registered before upcoming elections, either locally or nationally.
“Scotties consistently rise to the challenge of voting, volunteering at the polls and educating their peers on issues that are impactful on their lives,” says Blayne McDonald, assistant director of service-learning and civic engagement. “We support their efforts by providing opportunities to work with nonpartisan groups who advocate for equity and inclusion in all civic and community spheres.”
The early lessons learned about the importance of civic engagement can easily be observed through Agnes Scott’s Student Government Association (SGA) or on the annual spring lobby trip to the nation’s capital.
The most effective measuring stick, though, is the voter turnout by students at the college.
For the third year, Agnes Scott has been recognized for its student voting performance.
In late November, the college earned the distinction of being a Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting by All In. Agnes Scott was one of just five colleges or universities in Georgia to participate in the “Ask Every Student” campaign, which actively encourages all students to participate in the democratic process.
Just a week later, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) honored Agnes Scott’s volleyball team with the AVCA Voting Community award, which is given to teams whose rosters vote with a 100-percent turnout. The Scotties were just one of five women’s programs at the NCAA Division III level to earn the award alongside Smith College, St. Olaf College, Swarthmore College and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
In March, Agnes Scott garnered additional recognition from the Campus Vote Project and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) as being a Voter Friendly Campus, joining the likes of Emory University and Morehouse College from within Georgia.
Additionally, CLES recently appointed junior Kat Janssen, a democracy fellow, as a part of the Campus Vote Project fellowship program. Janssen and McDonald will be tasked with developing programming and other initiatives to keep the campus civically focused.
“We are incredibly proud to support Scotties’ efforts as they develop into civically-minded citizens of the world.”
Learn more about what CLES is doing on campus.