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Clemson recognized for student voter turnout; Trogden honored by ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge



Clemson University was recognized for encouraging student voter turnout in the 2020 election by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and Associate Dean Bridget Trogden received the Standout Faculty Award for her work increasing student voter turnout nationally.

The University also received the Best Action Plan Award among ACC institutions for its Clemson Votes effort to encourage students to vote.

Nearly 72 percent of eligible Clemson students voted in the 2020 election compared to the 66 percent voting rate of college students nationally. The data was compiled in the National Study on Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) housed in the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge celebrated campus voter turnouts at its awards ceremony Monday.

Clemson’s 2020 student voter turnout was 13.1 percent higher than in the 2016 election and 5 percent more students registered to vote in 2020 than four years earlier.

Trogden, associate dean for Engagement and General Education in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, is one of two people nationally who received the Standout Faculty Award.

Bridget Trogden

Trogden has been working for nonpartisan student voter engagement for the past seven years, helping strengthen the role of faculty and facilitating resource sharing among faculty, courses and institutions. She co-founded the Clemson Votes coalition and the DemocrACCy Challenge and learning community for the 15-member institutions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Standout Faculty Award from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and to be a recipient along with Teri Platt at Clark Atlanta University,” Trogden said. “All faculty – regardless of discipline – can have a role in working with students on democratic and voter engagement. As we saw in 2020 and will continue to see, voter registration and turnout rates for students increase when faculty engage them in meaningful learning activities.”

Trogden noted research shows that people develop civic engagement habits at an early age.

“Our Clemson students are among the best and brightest,” she said. “As they move into professional and leadership roles in the U.S. and around the world, their abilities to engage in public and democratic endeavors should continue to benefit our society.”

Ashley Jones, Clemson senior and political science/communications major, has been with Clemson Votes from the beginning and serves as its UPIC intern.

“I hope Clemson will continue to embrace the vision of Dr. Trogden and Clemson Votes as it is more important now than ever to educate students about civic engagement,” Jones said. “The excellent data results show incredible growth and illustrate the power of Clemson when we join hands to support our community and country.”