The American Democracy Project (ADP) a multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy. The university's Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship provides administrative leadership and staffing for the committee.

Election Related Co-Curricular Activities

  • Public viewings of the 2012 Presidential Debates drew broad cross-sections of students, staff, and community members. Faculty members led facilitated discussion among participants.
  • Pizza and Politics: Student Senate and ADP partnered with Debate MN to discuss the proposed "Voter ID" amendment to the Minnesota state constitution. More than 200 attendees participated in an informative, spirited and civil forum which explored this contentious issue.
  • Get out the Vote (GOTV) Campaign: coordinated with Student Senate, Student Life and Leadership Development, and the MN State University Student Association, the campaign trained dozens of students organizers who delivered classroom presentations, conducted voter registration and voter education.
  • Candidate forums
  • Debates on constitutional amendments such as the Marriage Amendment in 2011

Current national and local issue forums

  • "Hot Topic" Forums:
    - Racial Equity in Redistricting: a discussion how students, staff and faculty can become involved in influencing the redistricting process, locally and statewide, to create a more transparent, equitable and citizen-driven process overall.
    - The Marriage Amendment: a balanced discussion concerning the upcoming vote on the Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment that appeared on the November 2012 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

Constitution Day

  • 2015 Restore the Vote
  • 2011 The Right to Vote: Historic Perspectives, Future Prospects featuring Minneapolis School Superintendent Dr. Bill Green, Minnesota Supreme Court Justices Paul Anderson and Barry Anderson, a presentation from Fair Vote MN, engaging new voting populations
  • 2008 Mock Polling Place where faculty, staff, and community members met the Secretary of State, registered to vote, filled out a sample ballot, walked through a model polling place, and asked questions about the election process.
  • 2005 The Significance of the Supreme Court Nominations in the Constitutional Context and Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom

2009-10 American Democracy Project Initiative Examples

  • Metropolitan State University's minor in Civic Engagement was approved.
  • Fifth Annual Constitution Day held on September 14, 2009 with MN Supreme Court Justices G. Barry Anderson and Paul Anderson, Two Hundred Thirty-Eight Days to a Senator: Minnesotan's Civic Responsibility and the Constitution.
  • Seventy-six faculty, staff and students participated in the first annual Day of Service as part of the national United We Serve initiative.
  • The American Democracy Project hosted two Campus Conversation Brown Bags: Health Care Legislation and Controversy and the US Census!
  • Metropolitan State selected by the National ADP office to participate in a national initiative, eCitizenship: New Tools, New Strategies, New Spaces.
  • Come to Your Census! Campaign to educate the university community about the 2010 Census included presentations by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, State Demographer, Tom Gillaspy. Faculty, staff and students presented on the success of this initiative, Come to Your Census! at the Annual ADP meeting.
  • ADP offered three Webinars including Agents and Architects of Democracy: The Struggle for the Future of Higher Education.
  • Seventeen faculty members included the New York Times as a text in their courses.

2008-09 American Democracy Project Initiative Examples

  • Metropolitan State Votes '08 Campaign: A bold series of activities and programs to inform, engage and involve the university community in civic action during the historic election season.  The campaign featured faculty teach-ins and expert speaker presentations to candidate debates and voter registration. The University also composed a website directing the University community to resources on local events, election issues, candidate and voting information, and course resources.
  • Fourth Annual Constitution Day: featuring a Mock Polling Place, where faculty, staff, and community members met the Secretary of State, registered to vote, filled out a sample ballot, walked through a model polling place, and asked questions about the election process
  • Over 300 university and community members attended the United States Presidential Inaugural Program and Celebration
  • Twenty-six faculty utilized the New York Times in their courses