All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

The Solution Down the Hall: How Introductory Courses in American Government Can Engage Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Many of the philanthropic and campus-based organizations that sponsor voter registration initiatives set ambitious goals and cost-per-registrant guidelines. Again, this pushes engagement activists to target groups already predisposed to vote. A common technique, for instance, is to prompt students to change their voting address from back home (where their parents live) to their school address. The student who “moves” is often considered a new registrant when it comes to the program’s tally sheet. A fundamental problem with “more-is-always-better” registration initiatives, however, is the premium put on quick contacts. If one technique registers 20 new voters per hour, and the other just 10, the former must surely be “better.” The logic of cost-efficient voter work is explicit in Green and Gerber’s important book, Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout (2004), which they describe as “a guide for campaigns and organizations that work to formulate cost- efficient strategies for mobilizing voters.” The authors admit that the book is focused on “short term” considerations and not on “how voter turnout relates to broader features of society.” For most of us concerned with youth disengagement - both on campuses and off - the goal is to help create better citizens, not simply new voters. Although registration and voter mobilization are important (indeed, the organization that I direct, the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College, participated in a large, goal-oriented registration program in 2006), it as an initial step toward broader engagement and expanded civic enlightenment. Voting is not an end, but rather a beginning. Grabbing the shoulder of a college student outside the cafeteria to convince her to reregister at her campus address, and quickly moving to the next student in order to click off another “new” registrant, may boost registration figures and it may even kick up turnout, but how it helps create a generation of better citizens is less clear. Surely it does little to bolster civic literacy.

Authors: Shea, Daniel.
first   previous   Page 4 of 21   next   last



background image
Many of the philanthropic and campus-based organizations that sponsor voter registration
initiatives set ambitious goals and cost-per-registrant guidelines. Again, this pushes engagement
activists to target groups already predisposed to vote. A common technique, for instance, is to
prompt students to change their voting address from back home (where their parents live) to their
school address. The student who “moves” is often considered a new registrant when it comes to
the program’s tally sheet.
A fundamental problem with “more-is-always-better” registration initiatives, however, is
the premium put on quick contacts. If one technique registers 20 new voters per hour, and the
other just 10, the former must surely be “better.” The logic of cost-efficient voter work is explicit
in Green and Gerber’s important book, Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout (2004),
which they describe as “a guide for campaigns and organizations that work to formulate cost-
efficient strategies for mobilizing voters.” The authors admit that the book is focused on “short
term” considerations and not on “how voter turnout relates to broader features of society.”
For most of us concerned with youth disengagement - both on campuses and off - the
goal is to help create better citizens, not simply new voters. Although registration and voter
mobilization are important (indeed, the organization that I direct, the Center for Political
Participation at Allegheny College, participated in a large, goal-oriented registration program in
2006), it as an initial step toward broader engagement and expanded civic enlightenment.
Voting is not an end, but rather a beginning. Grabbing the shoulder of a college student outside
the cafeteria to convince her to reregister at her campus address, and quickly moving to the next
student in order to click off another “new” registrant, may boost registration figures and it may
even kick up turnout, but how it helps create a generation of better citizens is less clear. Surely it
does little to bolster civic literacy.


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 4 of 21   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.