NOVA Recognized for Record Youth Voter Turnout and Deemed as ‘Voter Friendly Campus 2021-2022’

March 25, 2021

Northern Virginia Community College alongside seven other Virginia institutions, has been given a national recognition as a ‘Voter Friendly Campus 2021-2022’. NOVA is one of 231 campuses in 37 states and the District of Columbia with this designation. This recognizes the work of NOVA’s faculty, staff and students in promoting positive voting activities through the ‘Virtual Student Union’. 

The institution’s efforts, despite great challenges presented by Covid-19 worked to break down barriers and empower students with the information and tools needed to participate in the political process. This has led to historic youth voter turnout, in which, opened the door for many students for lifelong civic engagement.

The mission of the Voter Friendly Campus designation is to bolster efforts that help students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. NOVA was evaluated based on a campus plan about how we would register, educate, and turnout student voters in 2020, how we facilitated voter engagement efforts on our campus, and a final analysis of our efforts- all in the face of the upheaval caused by a global pandemic. The designation is valid through December 2022. 

Fellow Virginia institutions designated:

  • James Madison University
  • Liberty University
  • Norfolk State University
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia State University
  • Virginia Wesleyan University

“NOVA is proud to be recognized as providing a safe space for students in developing a sense of civic responsibility and an appreciation of what it means to live in a democracy” said Dr. Frances Villagran-Glover, vice president of student services at NOVA. “We want to empower students with the information they need to register and vote.”  

The Voter Friendly Campus initiative is led by the national nonpartisan organizations led by national nonpartisan organizations Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. These organizations worked with the institution to set goals, formed a coalition, drafted an action plan, executed that plan, and evaluated NOVA’s efforts and set new goals for the future.

The institutions designated Voter Friendly Campuses represent a wide range of two-year, four-year, public, private, rural, and urban campuses. Notably, the list of designated institutions includes many Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program is ultimately serving over 3.5 million students.

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.


Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization that works to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project  works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and helps campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.

Topics: press release