Campus Vote Project Names 3 UHD Student Democracy Fellows
By Sheryl E. Taylor
Just in time for the Fall elections!
The Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) recently recognized UHD for its “commitment to improving students’ access to our democracy by participating in the Campus Vote Project’s 2022 Voter Friendly Campus designation program.”
CVP awarded the University with a $3,000 grant that will include stipends for three students— $500 for Fall 2022 and $700 for Spring 2023—as Campus Vote Project Democracy Fellows. The Fellows, Indira Zaldivar, Junior Martinez, and Suheyli Sanches, will receive hands-on guidance and expert advice from the CVP team. Additionally, the award will provide recognition by Campus Vote Project and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators upon UHD’s completion of a campus report (by Jan. 31, 2023) for a two-year designation as a Voter Friendly Campus.
“Campus Vote Project is proud to celebrate our one-year anniversary of supporting the Democracy Fellowship program at the University of Houston-Downtown,” said Jenna Greene, Texas Deputy State Coordinator of Campus Vote Project. “Democracy Fellows are students tasked with talking to their peers about registering to vote; spreading awareness about election laws, candidates, and major issues; and ensuring students on their campus are ready to be civically engaged, both at the ballot box and beyond. Moreover, CVP has challenged our Fellows to implement programs on each of their campuses that will remain long after they graduate and make an impact on students for years to come.
Greene added, “UHD’s Democracy Fellows have worked hard to boost voter registration, provide nonpartisan voter education, and support increased voter turnout on their campus. We are thankful for the continued opportunity to invest in students in Harris County and the whole Houston community.”
In 2012, Fair Elections Center launched CVP to focus and expand its work around student voting issues. The stats are impressive: the Campus Vote Project works with more than 281 colleges and universities, across 41 states with a combined enrollment of over 3.4 million students.
Since that time, the Campus Vote Project has been working to normalize and institutionalize student voting by working directly with colleges and universities across the country. In the last several years, CVP has awarded UHD with two student fellows under the leadership of Tremaine Kwasikpui, Director of Student Activities, and Kathy Knapp, Director of Career Development Services.
“The efforts of the students, faculty, and staff at UHD are phenomenal! It is amazing to receive national attention for the civic engagement work we are doing,” said Kwasikpui. “Cross-campus collaboration is an opportunity for students to realize the African proverb: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’ I am grateful for leaders Dr. Meritza Tamez, Dean of Students, and Dr. Jonathan Schwartz, Dean of the College of Public Service, who encourage faculty and staff collaborations as well as the opportunity to work with award-winning faculty member Dr. Liza Barros-Lane to change lives and empower communities. Together, we will continue to make power moves. I applaud the students of this project and Dr. Barros-Lane for her infectious energy!”