Seton Hall University’s school colors may be white and blue, but since partnering with TurboVote, the campus has been seeing a lot more red, white, and blue. Seton Hall’s successful implementation of TurboVote on campus exemplifies how in-person interaction can individualize the voting experience on a mid-size campus.
Karen Van Norman is the dean of students at SHU. She is passionate about helping students interact with local government and saw TurboVote as a way to get as many students as possible civically engaged. Dean Van Norman established the partnership with TurboVote and tasked the Student Government Association with implementing the tool and disseminating it out to the students. Karen continues to send out campus-wide emails and uses her position as a dean to emphasize the importance of voting, but the SGA has the important job of administering face-to-face interaction and getting students excited about the voting process. In 2016, it’s the top priority.
A political party (get it?)
Seton Hall has partnered with TurboVote since 2014, but in 2016 the attitude is different. Before students even arrived on campus for the fall, SGA and the Department of Student Life busily prepared ways to introduce them to TurboVote and get them excited to vote. They ordered 1,000 “Voting Rocks!” wristbands, yard signs, patriotic-themed candy, stars and stripes piñatas, TurboVote temporary tattoos, and baked more than 300 cookies. When freshmen were set loose on the Green for their first day of orientation, they were met with a "Political Party" sponsored by SGA, registering students through the tool right there with open laptops and smartphones. This early fall push landed Seton Hall in the #7 spot on the TurboVote leaderboard with more than 400 signups.
A very easy IT integration
SGA gave new students their first personal experience with TurboVote by tabling on the Green, but they have also created a way to digitally engage students throughout the academic year by partnering with the SHU Technology Center, which placed a link to TurboVote on the PirateNet student portal. New students who are learning how to navigate PirateNet will find the TurboVote link alongside their Blackboard login, their student emails, and financial services. Current students will now encounter TurboVote simply by seeing it on the portals and pass-throughs they visit multiple times a day. This integration was as easy as emailing the IT Department to inquire about how to connect TurboVote to the student portal.
Seton Hall University’s Student Life Department and Student Government Association are committed to registering and engaging every eligible voter on their campus. The passion for civic engagement demonstrated by the two groups combined with creative implementation ideas has set Seton Hall up to have a successful election year and beyond.