Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Resources

What Does It Mean?

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) means promoting the education of students for engaged citizenship through democratic participation in their communities, respect and appreciation of diversity, applied learning and social responsibility. The CLDE focus area supports discussion, educational programming, and professional development to help student affairs professionals provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make a difference in their communities (NASPA).

We have included information below about how to engage yourself in the democratic process year-round.

How Can I Get Involved?

Alternative Breaks

  • This student-led organization strives to create a society of active citizens who make community a priority in their values and life decisions.

Campus Democratic Engagement Coalition

  • This team meets regularly to organize student democratic engagement activities. Everyone is welcome! If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Baker-Boosamra at [email protected] or stop by the Office of Student Life.

Democracy 101

  • This series of co-curricular lectures, panel discussions and workshops focuses on the idea and practice of democracy.

Student Senate

  •  As the official student government, Grand Valley State University's Student Senate works to ensure that the voice of the students is continually heard by the University. General Assembly meetings of the Senate occur every Thursday of the fall and winter semesters at 4:30 p.m. and are held in Pere Marquette (Room 2204) of the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus.

Which Organizations Help?

  • Campus Elections Engagement Project is a national nonpartisan project that helps administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders at America’s colleges and universities engage students in federal, state, and local elections. Working with us, schools help their students to register, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves on candidates and issues, navigate voting laws, and turn out at the polls.
  • CVP works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting. Our goal is to help campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.
  • APIAVote is a national nonpartisan organization that works to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in electoral and civic participation. 
  • The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's Black Youth Vote! Empowerment Program has successfully engaged and trained a new generation of civic leaders and political activists. Students, community advocates and young professionals have gained essential tools that enable them to lead their communities to participate fully in the democratic process. 
  • Every Vote Counts is a student-led, nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that the ideals of our representative democracy are fully and fairly reflected in our federal, state, and local systems of voting. 
  • CIRCLE formed a distinguished, nonpartisan, scholarly commission that investigated rigorous data on young Americans’ civic knowledge and voting, and then issued recommendations for how to improve both.
  • Citizen University works with a national array of partners to help Americans cultivate the values, systems knowledge, and skills of effective citizenship.
  • The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education is a leading venue for research, resources, and advocacy on college student political learning and engagement in democratic practice. Through research, resource development, and convening, we strive to inform and shift college and university priorities, practices, and culture to strengthen democracy and advance social and political equity.
  • Ensure you have the latest information on the upcoming election while helping your school climb the rankings of the most-engaged student population. 

Page last modified September 22, 2023