Students at the University of Florida are often criticized for many things. We are said to be politically apathetic, arrogant and disengaged in our society.

While some of these depictions may be accurate, the record of UF undergraduate and graduate students is much more promising. Take voting and participation in the political process: As we approach the November election, many student organizations on campus are collaborating to ensure that students continue a tradition of strong civic involvement.

In 2012, approximately 71 percent of UF students registered to vote and nearly 61 percent of students cast ballots, according to Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service’s National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement.

The UF student voting rate is well above the 48 percent national average for public research universities, and it is even higher than the 58 percent national voter turnout in 2012 reported by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The Bob Graham Center for Public Service is committed to keeping the UF community ahead of the pack in voter participation. With the help of campus partners, it is the Graham Center’s hope that UF students will eclipse the voting rate of residents statewide (72 percent for the last presidential election).

A little healthy competition never hurt, either: The Bob Graham Center is currently engaged in a voter registration competition with the University of Tennessee’s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy. The campus that registers the most student voters from September through the shared Oct. 11 deadline wins bragging rights and the de-facto title of “Most Engaged Campus.”

We currently trail in the competition, but with your help, that won’t last. READ MORE.