Eastern Michigan University student appointed to Michigan Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force

YPSILANTI – Jason Folk, a freshman at Eastern Michigan University, has been selected to serve on the Michigan Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force. The task force was founded in 2019 by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to increase youth voter engagement and civic participation.

Jason Folk

According to a report by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, Michigan voters ages 18-29 turned out at a rate of 37% in the 2022 midterm elections, higher than any other state CIRCLE analyzed, and far higher than the national average youth turnout rate of 23%. Michigan was one of only four states where youth turnout was higher in 2022 than in 2018.

“Voting should be accessible for college students, and navigating the electoral systems can be difficult,” said Folk. “With the increased voter turnout from the past elections, I am optimistic we can reach even higher rates for the upcoming election in 2024.”

A member of the Honors College, Folk is studying philosophy and political science at Eastern. In recent years, he has been actively involved in local politics, striving to bring about positive change in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. His primary objective has been to enhance voter participation in recent elections. Recognizing the potential to further his political career by joining a coalition dedicated to the state of Michigan, Folk decided to pursue selection for the Michigan Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force.

Being selected to be on the state's Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force requires an application and interview by members of the secretary of state office and of the nonprofit organization The Campus Vote Project. Folk pitched his ideas to increase voter turnout at EMU during the interview process, which led to his seat on the task force. 

Working alongside 29 other students in the task force, the members act as student liaisons between the Michigan Department of State and their campus populations. The task force will ensure that young people's voices are heard in Michigan elections. 

At EMU, Folk plans to work closely with student organizations on campus to spread the word about upcoming important elections. Across Michigan, the task force members collectively will make policy recommendations to the secretary of state and create a social media presence to make voting information more accessible.

“Ultimately, I just want our voices to be heard and taken as seriously as others in America,” said Folk. ”I don't graduate until 2027, so I'm just taking my time to figure things out one day at a time. I just want to make a difference at the end of the day.”

For more information about the Collegiate Student Advisory Task Force, visit here

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

October 24, 2023

Written by:
Nina Scarpelli

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher