Lexi Dittrich and Santana Johnson

Effective Citizenship in Action

By Alverno Magazine

Democracy is not a spectator sport. This is something Alverno College students know well, considering they vote at higher rates than other college students around the nation.

“We live in a representative democracy. The government is not the power. We the people are the power,” says Alverno student Lexi Dittrich. “If we choose not to vote, not to inform ourselves, then we’re not granting ourselves the power that is due to us in our very founding documents.”

Alverno was recently honored as a best in class school of 570 colleges and universities participating in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The college’s student voting rate of 61% during the 2018 midterm elections was the highest of all small, private four-year colleges participating in the challenge, and far exceeds the average school voting rate of 39.1%.

Alverno students, faculty and staff work together each election to encourage voting, including holding voter registration drives and providing information to help students with everything from researching candidates to finding their polling place.

Leading the charge are students like Dittrich and Santana Johnson, who are passionate not only about voting themselves but who also regularly encourage friends, family and others to exercise their rights at the ballot box.

“I’m passionate about getting young people to vote,” Johnson says. “Especially for marginalized and oppressed groups, it’s our way of getting our voices heard on important decisions that affect our lives.”

Voting is just one facet of effective citizenship, one of Alverno’s 8 Abilities. Throughout her college education, an Alverno student will practice “making informed choices and developing strategies for collaborative involvement in community issues.” She’ll also participate in civic life, mindful of the potential to create social change.

“Effective citizens go out and fight, not just for themselves but for other citizens!”, Johnson says.

Lexi Dittrich and Santana Johnson Alverno College

Alverno College

Founded in 1887 by the School Sisters of St. Francis, Alverno College promotes the academic, personal and professional development of its students in a collaborative and inclusive environment. For more than 130 years, we’ve been changing lives with our powerful combination of liberal arts education and career readiness.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin