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Faculty Resources for Voter Education

More than any other group on campus, faculty play a critical role in a student’s decision of whether or not to vote and understanding of free speech. As you design your courses for the coming fall, the Election & Free Speech Task Force invites you to think about ways to engage students in the electoral process and dialogues around free speech, regardless of your academic discipline or political persuasion.

The goal is to convey through your teaching, words, and actions that “informed civic action” is an essential part of a CSUSM education. Below are a few trainings and events you can share with your students.

  • CSUSM Free Speech and Election Events

  • Top 5 Reasons Students Should Vote

    1.  It is a constitutional right and privilege that our founding fathers stood for.
    2. If you don’t vote for your own interests, who will?
    3. Young voters account for half of the voting population, making them a powerful political force. Young people need to vote to directly influence issues that might affect their lives for years to come.
    4. It is easier than ever to be an educated voter. Everything is at our finger tips! Check out the Election Resource page for sites to view to be an informed voter. 
    5. Everyone has a voice and wants to be heard in one way or another, THIS IS YOUR VOICE, VOTE!

    Read the full list of 10 Reasons Why It Is Important to Vote at the California Post.

  • Facilitating Civil Discussions in Your Class

    A New York Times collective lesson plan, Talking Across Divides: 10 Ways to Encourage Civil Classroom Conversations on Difficult Issues

      1. Create classroom rules and structures that support respectful and generative discussion, online and off.
      2. Take the 'Speak Up for Civility' pledge from Teaching Tolerance.
      3. Read and discuss articles that explore the problem of a divided America.
      4. Consider commenting standards - and test what you learn via the Times Comment-Moderation Quiz.
      5. Practice empathy.
      6. Back up statements with evidence and sources.
      7. Listen better, and ask genuine questions that seek to help you understand rather than judge.
      8. Expand your 'filter bubble'.
      9. Consider why 'us and them' is so ingrained in who we are.
      10. Learn about and try to counter 'confirmation bias'.

    The article continues to be updated, including a companion lesson plan published in January 2017, Civil Conversations Challenge.

  • Media Misinformation and News Literacy Sites

     An Election Misinformation and Disinformation page can be found here.

    • Facts matter: Is your news source trustworthy?
      • Factcheck.org monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political commentators in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and press releases.
      • University of Virginia’s Center for Politics Youth Leadership Initiatives’ media literacy lesson plans and tips.
    • Media Misinformation, Viral Deception and Fake News Lesson Plans
      • Libraries at University of Wyoming Resource Page.
    • How to Spot FakeNews Infographic
      • Published by the International Federation of Library Associations Institutions.
    • Fake News, Propaganda, and Bad Information: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources
      • Cornell University Library Guide of short excerpts on how to evaluate fake news. 
  • 60-Second Civics Podcast

    • Center for Civic Education 60-Second Civics Podcast
      • 60-Second Civics content is primarily derived from the Center's education for democracy curricula, including We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Project Citizen, Foundations of Democracy, and Elements of Democracy.
  • Election Introductory Videos

  • Media Literacy Videos

  • National Voter Engagement Dates and Events

    • Thursday, September 17 | Constitution Day
      • Celebrate your constitutional right to be civically engaged.
    • Tuesday, September 22 | National Voter Registration Day
      • Register to vote and challenge three friends to register or update their registration status (confirm you are registered in your current city).
    • Monday, October 3 – Friday, October 9 | National Voter Education Week
      • A week long campaign that will equip voters with the tools, information, and confidence they need to cast their ballots this fall.
    • Saturday, October 24 | Vote Early Day
      • Identify three friends and encourage them to vote early. Have them cast their ballot and post a pic with their “I Voted Sign”.
    • Tuesday, November 3 | General Election Day
      • Submit your mail-in-ballot or vote in-person at your local poll site.
  • Students as Poll Workers

    Typically, older Americans volunteer as Poll Workers. However, this year, because of COVID-19, older Americans are being asked not to volunteer as Poll Workers to protect their health. 

    This year, the Registrar of Voters is recruiting college students to be paid poll workers. This will be a seven day (full week commitment ). Therefore, if a students informs you that they are a poll worker be flexible, as they are participating in a civic duty. 

    Here is the timeline of activities of a paid poll worker.

      • 2- days of mandatory training.
      • 1-day of poll site set-up assistance.
      • 4-days of serving at the poll for eight hour shifts.
        • 4-day 2020 Election Poll dates, Saturday, October 31 to Tuesday, November 3.
      • [May be required] 1-day poll-site closing assistance.

    Learn more about the qualifications and duties of a Poll Worker on the San Diego Registrar of Voters Poll Worker page.

  • Should Faculty Promote Their Political Affiliation in their Email?

    No. The CSU Office of General Counsel has previously advised that campaign activity is not appropriate for CSU-provided email accounts for employees.

    While personal communications that include an individual's political views are usually fine, including it in an email signature which will go out on emails conducting university business would likely be deemed an inappropriate campaign activity


Additional resources for faculty curriculum inclusion can be found at the Faculty Center website


This page is being maintained by the Department of Civic Department of Civic EngagementEngagement. If you have questions about a specific resource or event, please contact Rochelle Smarr, rsmarr@csusm.edu