Wed Aug. 5: Repairing our Voting Infrastructure + Civic engagement opportunities for you

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dear Students,

Civic engagement is always important, and even more so in the midst of a global pandemic, ongoing anti-racist protests, and an upcoming U.S. presidential election. Please consider taking up these opportunities to learn more and get involved:

Columbia World Projects Webinar on Planning for 2020 Elections
Learn about the unprecedented challenges facing the 2020 elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic – vote by mail, independent election monitors and more: Repairing our Voting Infrastructure: Planning for the 2020 Election on Wednesday, August 5 at 1 PM EST on Zoom. Experts will discuss the issues and a Q&A session will follow. Register here.

Voter Registration
If you are eligible to vote in the United States, don’t miss your opportunity to make your voice heard in the upcoming 2020 U.S. general elections! Please visit Columbia Turbo Vote to find information on voter registration deadlines and requirements where you are. If you plan to be on campus during the elections, visit your state’s election office online to learn how you may cast an absentee ballot. Not sure if you are eligible to vote? Check out voter eligibility requirements here.

Census Deadline Extended
The deadline to participate in the U.S. Census has been extended to Oct. 31. The census will determine how federal funds are distributed for schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other state and local needs across the country. This directly affects Columbia, our neighbors in Harlem and Washington Heights, and the rest of New York. All Columbia students, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are required by law to be counted in the 2020 census. You can find more information about Columbia and the 2020 census here.  

If you have lived in group quarters on campus at any time this year, even if you left campus after we transitioned to online learning, you will be counted in Columbia’s census submission as part of a “group quarters” category and should not fill out an individual census form.

CU Engage: Civic Engagement @ Columbia University
Visit CU Engage to learn about opportunities for civic engagement here at Columbia and elsewhere. You’ll also find voter registration resources and information about Columbia’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, and you can share your ideas and feedback for this initiative.

The Neighbors Hub
Visit the Columbia University Neighbors website to learn more about Columbia’s work with our upper Manhattan neighbors, including the Neighbors Food Relief Fund, COVID-19 resources for small businesses and individuals, and other programs.

Justice Organizations in the U.S.
Looking to get involved? University Life, with the help of the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, has put together a list of organizations across the United States that are advocating for justice, together with additional resources for promoting racial justice.  

Thank you for your commitment to civic engagement. As always, we welcome your suggestions and questions at

In community,

Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law