Western Carolina University had the second-highest rate of student voter turnout for the 2016 general election among North Carolina colleges, according to a new study from Common Cause. WCU also was first in a voter engagement competition among Southern Conference universities.
Western Carolina University has been recognized as a “voter friendly campus” while student and faculty organizers who worked toward active participation during the 2016 election received numerous honors for their civic engagement.
For 30 patrons of the Waynesville center of LifeSpan, a non-profit organization serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, an activities expo at Western Carolina University was an ideal field trip.
Thanks to her tireless efforts to promote student voting, along with helping Western Carolina University secure an early voting site, North Carolina Campus Compact has named junior Joanna Woodson as one of its Community Impact Award winners.
Western Carolina University’s efforts for early voting at a campus polling place exceeded expectations, organizers said. This election year, WCU had for the first time an early voting site, which was established through the efforts of the national Campus Vote Project, WCU’s Center for Service Learning and the Jackson County Board of Elections.
Western Carolina University will have an on-campus polling place for early voting from Thursday, Oct. 27, through Saturday, Nov. 5. It was established through the efforts of the Campus Vote Project, a campaign working to remove barriers to voting on college campuses and advocating for changes to expand access to voter registration and the voting process, and WCU’s Center for Service Learning, with assistance from the Jackson County Board of Elections.
For the eighth consecutive year, Western Carolina University has been named as an institution of higher education that provides exemplary community service and civic engagement, both on and off campus. WCU is listed in the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, announced recently at the annual conference of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.
Junior Western Carolina University transfer student Joanna Woodson has become a rising star in politics and social activism. This spring, Woodson rallied students at Western Carolina to vote, earning the campus recognition when WCU students turned out to vote at a higher rate than the general voting population. She found herself in the headlines again when her efforts landed WCU an on-campus early voting precinct — a rare triumph for campuses looking to increase political participation.