Democracy Works: Students Learn, Students Vote

Sep 14, 2020

Nancy Thomas
Credit Alonso Nichols/Tufts University

National Voter Registration Day is September 22. In a normal election year on a college campus, that would mean lots of canvassers with clipboards and pizza parties to encourage students to register. Those activities can't happen the same way this fall, but our guest this week argues that the pandemic should not detract colleges and universities from their civic mission.

Nancy Thomas is director of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, an applied research center at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Over the past decade, the IDHE has worked to understand how college students vote and make recommendations to university leaders about both short-term voting challenges and long-term obligations to creating democratic citizens. This conversations covers both of those areas, as well as what role faculty can play in fostering democracy and civic engagement in their courses.