Each year the CCE provides active voter registration in classes and residence halls and two months of intensive educational election programing leading up to the election. For Election 2018, the CCE provided over 15 programs, registered roughly 900 voters, and saw 600 students vote on campus. Salem State also served as an early voting site in the 2018 election. This work helps students understand and recognize the impact they can make with their voting choices, at both local and national levels. Past election programming has included:
Pizza & Politics: Forums on campaign topics
Debate Watch Parties
Ballot question panels with experts on issues
Fake News Workshops
Get out the Vote parties for early voting and Election Day
National Civic Action Plan
As part of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, the center developed a campus civic action plan that aims to increase civic learning and democratic engagement on campus. This plan provides a framework for developing and documenting institutional goals and strategies to garner additional support and resources, change culture, improve systems and policies, build lasting capacity and ultimately institutionalize civic engagement efforts.
In addition to election programming, the Center frequently sponsors or co-sponsors events on campus and in the community that address current democracy issues. A few of these events have included Constitution Day, Commemoration of the 19th Amendment, First Amendment Forum, and The Constitution, Immigration and the End of DACA, among others. Local elected officials are also invited as guest speakers at these events.
Salem State has received several national awards in recognition of the political engagement efforts the Center has helped to sustain on campus. In 2017, SSU received the ALL IN Challenge silver seal for achieving a 65.2% student voter rate in the 2016 presidential election. In 2019, SSU received the ALL IN Challenge gold seal for achieving a 46.8% student voter rate, which was an 86% increase from the 2014 midterm election. "Washington Monthly" also named Salem State as a 2018 America’s Best College For Student Voting.
Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics
The Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics and Civic Engagement was created in 2019 and aims to engage and inspire a diverse community of learners to pursue careers in political and public service. It will also convene public and private sector leaders to discuss and move forward issues of significance to Massachusetts. The new, non-partisan institute plans to host political discussions and debates; support students with career interests in politics and public service; create week-long institutes for students to hone their political knowledge and skills; and develop podcasts to broadcast current issues, policies, and interviews with political candidates.