University Communicators Gear Up for Intense Election Season

(Credits: Business Wire)

Universities worldwide often serve as hubs for political engagement, providing platforms for activities such as voter registration drives and civic engagement initiatives and fostering student involvement in political discussions.

Yet, even prestigious institutions have faced challenges when addressing controversial and politically charged issues, sometimes struggling to navigate them effectively. For instance, Harvard University encountered difficulties in coordinating its response to the Israel-Hamas crisis last year, leading to misalignment in messaging.

University of Illinois Chicago (Credits: IPHEC)

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) has shown adeptness in managing such complexities. It has consistently earned recognition as a “Voter-Friendly Campus” from organizations like the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and the National Association for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA).

UIC’s success in this regard is attributed mainly to the efforts of its Student Affairs department. As the 2024 Democratic National Convention approaches, which will take place just three miles from UIC’s campus in August, the university is gearing up for an eventful year.

UIC Chicago (Credits: Common App)

Joy Vergara, UIC’s assistant vice chancellor for student engagement, shared insights with Ragan on how her teams, along with other university departments, are preparing for the upcoming election season.

Key aspects include adhering to ethics and compliance guidelines, providing annual training sessions, and fostering an environment of inclusive expression on campus.

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