Cyrus Commissariat

ASU senior named as one of only 2 students on board of national voter-engagement organization


Mark J. Scarp

An ASU student active in the Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) fellows program is a new member of the board of the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition, a national organization dedicated to encouraging college students to vote in local and federal elections.

Cyrus Commissariat, a triple major in the College of Arts and Sciences who will be a senior in fall 2020, is one of 16 members – and only one of two students -- of the board.

The board meets online at least monthly, but Commissariat said that recently a heavy workload related to distributing grant funds has had members meeting weekly.

“I will be evaluating grant applications from universities and partners across the country. Last year, over $600,000 was distributed by the board, nationwide,” Commissariat said. “I will keep my AGF team and the civic engagement coalition apprised of different funding opportunities as well as different trainings that we can take part in.”

AGF is a nationwide program promoting participatory democracy and increased voter participation, particularly among college students. It is administered at ASU through the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. SLSV is a nonpartisan coalition of universities and nonprofits that offers grants and additional supports to promote civic learning and engagement at universities nationwide.  

Commissariat said the organization’s ASU student members participate in its programs. One of them, the Ask Every Student program, aims to design more inclusive materials for voter registration and allows them to apply for $5,000 in funding for civic engagement activities, Commissariat said.

The ASU SLSV members undergo training in encouraging student voting and attend meetings that allow higher education institutions to share best practices, he said.

“I’m looking forward to representing ASU on this board and representing student voices in the civic engagement world,” Commissariat said. “SLSV invests in students and in our democracy and it is extremely gratifying to be a part of it.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased with Cyrus’ appointment to the national board of directors for SLSV,” said Alberto Olivas, executive director of the Pastor Center, who works with the Andrew Goodman Fellows.

“As the leader of our Andrew Goodman Fellows, and one of the key leaders of our Student Civic Coalition, Cyrus has proved to be a real force of nature driving student voter engagement efforts and outcomes at ASU. I’m so excited at the thought of him bringing his ideas and collaborative leadership style to benefit SLSV’s national efforts to promote student voting,” Olivas said.     

Mark J. Scarp is media relations officer for the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.