American Democracy Project
The American Democracy Project is a multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy. The American Democracy Project is co-sponsored by AASCU and the New York Times and includes nearly 200 AASCU institutions.
At Indiana State, ADP engages students in democracritc life in a host of ways. With its targeted political engagement programming, field trips, and institutional-level engagement efforts such as developing and implementing the Campus Vote Plan, ADP is at the center of electoral and democratic engagement at Indiana State. Specific programs include voter registration efforts, invited speakers, presidential debate watches, State of the Union Tweet-Ups, hosting local candidate forums, and many more such events.
ADP’s work at Indiana State has been r ecognized nationally including the following:
● “Best Colleges for Student Voting” by Washington Monthly
● Voter Friendly Campus distinction by NASPA and Campus Vote Project
Meet the Team
Dr. Carly Schmitt
Dr. Carly Schmitt (Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the coordinator of ADP at Indiana State. Since beginning her tenure as coordinator in 2011, Dr. Schmitt has led campus efforts to invigorate student political engagement via experiential learning, focused programming, and heading-up the Campus Vote Plan.
Dr. Schmitt’s research specializes in legislative studies and pedagogy. Her most recent pedagogical work, forthcoming in the J ournal of Undergraduate Studies examines the effects of voter engagement efforts in the classroom and co-curricular programs on student political engagement.
Andrew Case is a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at Indiana State University. He earned his B.S. in Communication with a concentration in Communication in Culture Magna Cum Laude from Indiana State University in 2019. Prior to graduation, Andrew was the recipient of the Richard G. Landini outstanding Junior Award as well as the Alan C. Rankin Distinguished Senior Award and served on the Indiana State University Board of Trustees. Currently, he is working as a Graduate Assistant for the American Democracy Project at Indiana State with goals of completing his degree and beginning work with non-profit organizations with a goal of helping them to more effectively serve the community.
Kirsten Campbell is a senior Honors Scholar at Indiana State University, double majoring in Political Science and History. She holds the position of the American Democracy Project’s Undergraduate Fellow as well as President of STATE for ADP. She was the recipient of the 2019 LeaderShape Institute Community Impact Award for her work with ADP leading up to the 2018 midterm election.
STATE for ADP is the non-partisan student organization on ISU’s campus that meets to discuss topics, host events, and take trips that align with the national project’s mission. This is an entirely student-run operation that is an important partner in our project on campus.
Fall 2019 Programming
8/21- Tent Talks at The Fountain | 1PM-3PM | Dede Plaza/ Fountain Discuss current events, important issues facing our nation, and how to engage in the democratic process to make your voice heard above the noise.
9/18- The Supreme Court: Looking Back and What’s To Come | 12PM | Library Events Area In celebration of Constitution and Citizenship Day, political scientist Dr. Robert Van Sickel will present on contemporary cases before, and the political context of, the Supreme Court. This event is free and open to all in the community. Pizza, cookies, and pocket U.S. Constitutions provided.
9/24- Are YOU Election Ready? | 9:45 AM- 2:00 PM | Dede Plaza/ Fountain Visit the American Democracy Project team at the Fountain to ensure you're able and prepared to make your voice heard in upcoming elections. Check your voter registration and learn how to vote from your new home away from home.
10/3- School Funding? Casino? Informed Voting on the 2019 Ballot Measures | 7PM | Vigo County Public Library In the upcoming election, voters will be asked to do more than select candidates for public office. Learn about the role of ballot measures in affecting public policy and explore the specifics on the two proposed ballot measures in Vigo County—the casino and the public education measures. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in a neutral, nonpartisan community conversation designed to aid in making informed decisions in the
10/15- Mayoral Candidate Forum | 7PM | Magna Carta Room, Federal Hall Be an informed voter ahead of the 2019 Municipal Election. Terre Haute mayoral candidates will be on campus to respond to student questions regarding their
vision for Terre Haute and its relationship to the campus community. Refreshments provided.
11/6- Pizza and Politics- Immigration: Arguments and Evidence | 7PM | Library Events Area Participants will engage in student-led discussion on immigration policy and reform. Pizza and refreshments provided.
ADP hosts numerous civic engagement events throughout the year that allow students to discuss politics, meet with their Representatives, and speak to UN ambassadors. ISU Day at the Statehouse Students of various campus organizations met with their state Representatives and had the opportunity to network with lobbyists and Statehouse staff.
Students meet with UN Ambassadors The American Democracy Project hosted a banquet for students in SGA and the Political Science Department to meet with UN Ambassadors to discuss Hoosier’s perspectives on the upcoming competitive Senate election in 2018
STEPS TO VOTE
- a. Register in the County you want to vote in 30 days before election
- b. If you have an Indiana Driver’s License, register here: https://indianavoters.in.gov/
- c. If you do not have an IN Driver’s License, you can still register in Vigo County! Download form **Insert link to Federal form** and mailing address
- a. If you want to vote by mail (absentee), you need to apply
- b. If voting in person, bring state issued ID (your student ID counts)
We also provide training and handouts to organizations that want to host voter registration drives.
- a. Yes, in Indiana you do have to have a state issued ID in order to vote. Your Student ID at Indiana State University will work as a valid form of ID.
- a. Yes! Just make sure you update it each year that you change addresses and that you use the address that is within the county you want to vote in.
- a. Yes! You can download an application on your state’s website, just make sure you are mailing it with plenty of time to receive your ballot and mail it back. Many states require your ballot to be received by Election Day.
- a. In Indiana, you can go to any polling place within the County you registered in. Vigo County has several locations, including one on campus!
- a. Contact us! Our student fellow, Kirsten, would be happy to help! Email her at email@example.com .
Want to get involved?
Then Every Other Thursday @ 6:00
Other Ways to Get Involved
Does your student organization want to sponsor political engagement programming such as voter registration drives, a guest speaker, or a specific program? The American Democracy Project can assist student organization in funding for these programs. Contact Andrew Case, ADP graduate assistant about this ( firstname.lastname@example.org )