Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement: 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 bakerbme@gvsu.edu or stop by the Community Service Learning Center located in the Office of Student Life.

Coffee and Conversations

  • This student-led series of conversations is aimed at promoting community building and public dialogue.

Community Service Learning Center Podcast

  • "Be the Change" is produced by the Community Service Learning Center. We believe that every student at Grand Valley deserves to have their voice heard. This podcast aims to do just that by giving voices to issues of community and democratic engagement that matter to the Grand Valley Community.
  • Do you have a topic that you're passionate about and want discussed on our podcast? Submit your idea on Laker Link here. If you have any questions, please contact Jane Johnston at johnstj3@mail.gvsu.edu.

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 4:30pm and are held in Pere Marquette (Room 2204) of the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus.

Two students hold signs reading "GVSU Votes!" and "I vote because that how I use my voice"

A female student holds a sign reading "I vote because it's a right"

A young black woman wearing a hijab holds a sign reading "I vote because black people & women fought hard for this right"

Which Organizations Help?

Campus Elections Engagement Project

  • 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.

Campus Vote Project

  • 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.

CIRCLE

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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Page last modified June 10, 2019