Washington Monthly Applauds Winthrop for Student Voter Engagement Efforts

September 21, 2020


  • A total of 157 institutions made the list, with Winthrop one of only three in South Carolina. 
  • This is the third year in a row Winthrop has made the list. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – According to a recent poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, more 18- to 29-year-olds say they plan to vote in 2020 than in previous surveys conducted in 2016 and 2018. 

Winthrop University is on the frontlines in the effort. For the third year in a row, Washington Monthly has recognized Winthrop for its success in getting students to vote. 

The university is among the top 50 in the Student Voting Category of the 2020 Washington Monthly College Rankings and one of only three institutions listed from South Carolina. 

A total of 157 institutions made the list. 

“One of Winthrop’s core values has always been, and continues to be, civic engagement,” said Interim President George Hynd. “We want our students to be civically engaged in their local, national and global communities and actively making a difference. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by exercising their constitutional right to vote.” 

In spring 2020, before COVID-19 required Winthrop to close its campus, the university hosted several presidential candidates and surrogates as well as an Election 2020 series, allowing students to hear about topics such as: the history of South Carolina’s First in the South presidential primaries; women’s representation in the U.S. Congress over time; and the Equal Rights Amendment in South Carolina. 

In addition, art students painted a voting mural encompassing empowering messages for student voting and engagement, which remains on display between McLaurin Hall and Rutledge Building. The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy also organized three days of activities for South Carolina university students at the Republican Presidential Nominating Convention in Charlotte, before the pandemic caused it to be cancelled. 

Students and faculty remain committed to voter education and turnout in the fall semester, including working with student Voting Ambassadors to reach student on registration and engagement efforts. 

Winthrop’s high student voter turnout earned the university a Gold Shield from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, awarded to institutions with 40 to 49 percent voter participation in the 2018 midterm election as well as Gold recognition from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University. 

Winthrop also earned Voter Friendly Campus designation in 2017 and 2019 by the national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project and NASP-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. 

Among other third-party endorsements, U.S. News & World Report in September gave Winthrop its highest-ever ranking. The Princeton Review in August named Winthrop among the “Best in the Southeast.” The university was one of 142 schools that the company recommends in its online feature "2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” In addition, Winthrop was recently recognized by Washington Monthly as one of 157 institutions to make its “honor roll” for registering students to vote.

For more information, please contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or e-mail chisarin@winthrop.edu.

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