How to Create the World You Want to Live In

Posted on September 26, 2017

Did you know that YOU have the power to create the world you want to live in? In the words of Uncle Ben in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

So how can you use your power responsibly? Through civic learning and democratic engagement!

GVSU’s Community Service Learning Center has created the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) initiative to help students think more broadly about the impact we can have on our society.

How can you start using the power you have as a citizen to create the world you want to live in? Here’s a quick guide to get you started:

GVSU votes button

1. Think Broadly & Deeply

You can make a difference through volunteering, but have you considered how you might address the root causes of inequity and injustice which create the need for service in the first place?

Student holding a sign reading "I vote because I have the right to vote."

2. Get educated, seek understanding

Know what is going on in our world, nation, and local community. Consider multiple perspectives and listen to all voices when it comes to public issues. Then form your own position.

Sometimes conversations surrounding public issues are challenging and difficult, so it is important to approach these tough conversations with the willingness to seek understanding!

Student holding a sign reading "I vote because the power should remain in the hands of the people"

3. Use your voice

Your voice matters. How can you use your voice?

  • Organize with other students
  • Research and report on public issues
  • Meet with your elected officials
  • Create or sign a petition
  • Begin the conversation
  • Advocate for change!
Student holding a sign reading "I vote because I want my voice to be heard"

4. Get voting!

So you’ve educated yourself.

You’ve formed a well-rounded opinion by chatting with people from a variety of views.

You’ve spoken up about the changes you want to see in society.

In order to see change happen, you need to use your ability to vote! Whether you are voting for local public officials or on a ballot proposal, your vote matters! Be sure you register to vote!

National Voter Registration Day Student holding a sign reading "I vote to exercise my freedom"

5. Check out CLDE's resources and programs!

The CSLC offers great CLDE programs like Democracy 101, a weekly series of conversations to educate students about difficult public issues and help teach students how to seek understanding through dialogue.

The Civicize.Me civic leadership program and the GVSU Civic Reporters provide students with the opportunity to learn about our local community, explore current public issues, interview community members, and use your civic power!

Student holding a sign reading "I vote because it is my responsibility to do so as an American citizen"

For more resources, check out the GVSU CLDE webpage!

Page last modified September 6, 2020