Welcome to our faculty resources page. On this page, you will find a variety of ways to integrate election content into your courses. These course resources are part of the Gephardt Institute’s
non-partisan work focused on student voting and engagement in the election process.

If you have any questions or wish to speak about further ways to integrate voter engagement into your course, please email Lindsay Gassman, Voter Engagement Fellow, at washuvotes@wustl.edu for assistance.

Faculty Resources Box Folder

This Box folder has all faculty voter engagement resources, including messaging to send students at various points of the election season, PowerPoint slides with voting information, national success stories, video guides for each stage of the voting process, and more. These materials are also linked throughout the webpage

Get Involved

Click on the options below to learn more about each engagement tier and for links to resources and research supporting specific requests. 

Low Engagement

Include language in your syllabus about the importance of voting

Show a PowerPoint slide in class on National Voter Registration Day

  • National Voter Registration Day is on September 22, and we will have a week full of programming in order to celebrate it. The purpose is to remind students to register to vote before the deadline passes to register prior to the November election. By showing a PowerPoint slide in class sometime during the week of September 21-25, students will have another reminder to register to vote before it is too late.
  • Download the PowerPoint slides.

Show a PowerPoint slide in class on Election Day (or the day before)

  • Some students are still unclear on where their polling place is or what they need to bring to vote on Election Day. The Election Day PowerPoint slide will address those questions and remind students of the importance of voting.
  • Download the PowerPoint slides.

Send a Canvas announcement or reminder email the day before Election Day

Arrange class so there aren’t exams, quizzes, or assignments due on Election Day or the day after (11/3 and 11/4)

  • WashU strongly encourages students to express their voices through voting, but many students face barriers to voting. One of these is long voting lines, which have lasted 2-4 hours at campus and off-campus polling places in past elections. To alleviate students’ concerns about meeting academic expectations while they wait in line, and in the immediate aftermath of the election, we recommend that faculty create their syllabi so there are no assignments or exams on Tuesday, November 3 or Wednesday, November 4.

Medium Engagement

Low engagement level activities plus:

Putting voting resources in class files on Canvas

  • WashU Votes is assembling a series of educational videos and written guides to walk students through the various steps of the voting process. By adding these resources to your class files on Canvas, students will be able to easily access relevant information to help them successfully vote (forthcoming).

Show a PowerPoint slide in class on the day of the Missouri registration deadline

  • The Missouri Registration Deadline PowerPoint slide serves as a final reminder for students to register to vote in Missouri if they wish to vote in the November election. We hope that showing this slide on or before the Missouri registration deadline (October 7) will capture students and ensure they are registered to vote before it is too late.
  • Download the PowerPoint slides.

Provide alternatives to attending class on Election Day or be more lenient with attendance/tardiness on Election Day

  • Beyond arranging your syllabus so there are no graded assignments or exams on Election Day or the day after, another way you can help students have more accessibility to voting is by being flexible about class attendance on Election Day. The first suggestion is implementing alternatives to attending class on Election Day. Depending on the structure of your class, this could look like pre-recording a lecture for the class or requiring students to do the readings for the class and answer relevant discussion questions on Canvas. These options would allow students to engage with the class material on their own time to provide for more flexibility in their schedules to go vote. A second option is having class as normal but excusing absences or tardiness if students arrive late from the polls. You can have them show you their “I Voted” sticker as a way to track this and encourage them to come to office hours to review any content they may have missed.

Allow a WashU Votes volunteer to come to a class to give a 15-minute voter registration presentation and information about voting initiatives on campus

  • WashU Votes volunteers are students trained on providing voter registration help and general voting assistance. If you are willing to let WashU Votes volunteers have 15 minutes of your class time to walk students through how to register to vote and give them important voting dates and reminders, please reach out to washuvotes@wustl.edu to get a visit scheduled. Here is a sample voter registration presentation for your reference.

High Engagement

Low and medium engagement level activities plus:

Connecting the election to course content

  • Studies[1] have shown that classroom discussions about politics and the connections between academics and elections increases the voting turnout rate of college students. Therefore, we recommend that professors take some time in class before the election to connect the course content to the election. Examples include showing different policies related to the class that are on candidates’ platforms or talking about the implications of the course content on American politics as a whole. We recognize that some courses lend themselves more easily to this connection than others. If you would like assistance in connecting your course content to the election, please reach out to lindsaygassman@wustl.edu to schedule a consultation with Lindsay Gassman, the Gephardt Institute Voter Engagement Fellow, and Cassie Power, the Gephardt Institute Associate Director for Faculty and Academic Engagement.

[1] https://idhe.tufts.edu/sites/default/files/ElectionImperatives.pdf

Department-Wide Engagement

Become an academic voter engagement hub

  • Departments that want a higher-level commitment to voter engagement on campus can become an academic voter engagement hub. Academic hubs commit to assembling a team of around 3-5 members of the department to get trained on voter registration, plan 1-2 voting programs each semester, encourage voter registration and engagement throughout the department, and provide voter support to students on a drop-in basis. Academic hubs will get extensive support from the Gephardt Institute, including envelopes and postage for voting forms, TurboVote tip sheets, a unique voter registration QR code to help track progress, WashU Votes stickers and buttons to use as giveaways, and WashU Votes t-shirts for trained members. They will also have a point of contact at the Gephardt Institute to help answer questions and refill their voter engagement kits. If you are interested in hearing more about the voter engagement academic hub program, please reach out to lindsaygassman@wustl.edu.

Request a department-specific voter registration QR code

Please reach out to washuvotes@wustl.edu if you would like a voter registration QR code specific to your department. The Gephardt Institute will track data on the back end to see how many students have registered to vote through your department. Using this data, we will create a leaderboard of departments with the highest proportion of voter registrations per students enrolled in the department and post it to the Gephardt website and social media.

Interested in committing to a level of engagement? Please fill out our engagement form by clicking below!

Attend "Navigating Post-Election Conversations in the Classroom"

Thursday, October 29th, 2020
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Faculty Voter Engagement

Implementing voter engagement resources into the classroom is one way to increase student voter turnout. On this page, there are a variety of course resources including sample messaging to students, PowerPoint slides, Canvas reminders, and more.

Access Resources

To download the files for all engagement levels and access additional resources,
click here.

Join a Growing Network

View a list of faculty members who have signed on and departments that have committed to becoming academic hubs.