-Kansas Board of Regents

The six Kansas Board of Regents Higher Education institutions and Washburn University have been working since August to provide students with the opportunity to register to vote in the state of Kansas.  Student government leaders from all seven universities have banded together to form the Young Voters’ Movement, a movement targeted at encouraging civic engagement on college campuses across the state.

Each university has hosted events to promote civic engagement and register voters throughout the semester.

“It is crucial that college students realize the importance and power of voting. Many students see the value in voting during the presidential elections, but many times the mid-term elections, that can still drastically affect their daily lives, are overlooked. With important issues such as funding for higher education, sexual assault prevention on campus as well as several other issues that are facing our state, engaging the students of our campus and state is a huge priority,” President Arin Powers stated.

Fort Hays State University has been speaking to Freshman Seminar classes, presenting to student organizations and organizing presentations to remind students to exercise their right to vote. We have also been utilizing TurboVote and have set up tables in our Memorial Union to help all students register to vote. With the registration deadline passed we will be starting to encourage students to go out and vote for the upcoming elections. We will be providing transportation buses to the various sites in Ellis County that students will be going to in order to vote.

Filling out the voter registration form provided in the voter registration drives is only the first step. Individuals registering to vote for the first time in the state of Kansas must provide proof of citizenship in order to complete their registration. This poses difficulties for many students that attend institutions in cities other than their hometowns and do not have access to their birth certificates, passports, or naturalization documents.

Now that the voter registration deadline has passed, in addition to encouraging students to submit their proof of citizenship, the Young Voters’ Movement will focus on getting students involved in the elections process by garnering student votes.

Student Body Presidents from all seven institutions hope that the Young Voters’ Movement permanizes itself into the Kansas Board of Regents Student Advisory Committee statute for future elections to continue the quest of civic engagement within the Higher Education system.


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