We’ve moved! Find the latest Research and Policy Institute updates on the NASPA blog!
Starting in late April, 2019, the NASPA Research and Policy Institute blog has been merged into the NASPA blog! Check us out there: http://www.naspa.org/about/blog
Turning the Page: Transitioning from a Common Read to a Common Challenge
Whether it is through a common read, engaging in a common challenge, or another activity there are ways to use the start of the semester and shared experiences to raise awareness and understanding of the complexities with social issues. How does do social issues affect your communities? How are you creating opportunities on your campus to engage with social issues?
Sowing the seeds of a culture of democratic engagement at UNLV
After election day, we celebrated the progress we made in institutionalizing democratic engagement at UNLV while cataloguing the many ways in which we want to continue growing this area of work. We helped our community partners celebrate the incredible depth and breadth of the work they did in organizing young voters across the state of Nevada. Powerful evidence of this has recently emerged: In the 2018 midterms, 37% of young Nevadans ages 18-35 cast a ballot, a 22 point increase from the 2014 midterms. According to CIRCLE, young people made up 19% of the Nevada electorate in the midterms, more than doubling their impact from the 2014 midterms. We are excited for the small part we were able to play in this significant achievement.
It’s Not All or Nothing: Planned Versus Emergent Change Theory
As budget cuts force colleges and universities to cut programs, especially in the humanities and social sciences, it is imperative that the work done in the area of civic and democratic engagement over the past 20+ years take root in the curriculum as a whole – this is the underpinning of emergent change. The public problem-solving course detailed in this blog is part of a program dog-eared for transformation because the interdisciplinary department in which it is taught was dissolved due to cuts and reorganization. Fortunately, this course as well as others like it, were purposed as general education courses early on and will remain part of that curriculum as long as faculty exist to teach the material. In other words, though the department will be gone, the courses will continued to be offered. At this point, it is impossible to predict exactly what the outcome will be but if civic literacy and democratic engagement is the foundation of all educational goals and outcomes, the work started years ago will live on. In this case, planned and emergent change work hand in hand rather than in opposition – it’s not all or nothing.
Cultivating Partnerships at the Intersection of Arts and Civic Engagement
With Arts as Civic Engagement is in its pilot year, we have our plan – our blueprints. We are, in addition, learning as we are building the program. Like anything new and exciting, we change and tweak as we continue. In this pilot year, we may sometimes be “building the plane as we fly.” I believe that we are soaring.
Pioneers Vote: Engaging a Reluctant Audience
Civic engagement on a college campus depends on the creation of an environment cognizant of the characteristics of its student population and respectful of the diverse opinions of all those in the campus community. In a national political and social environment where the act of engaging civically feels even more “risky”, how do we engage our diverse campus populations in a way that inspires and empowers them to use their voices and join in dialogue? At Texas Woman’s University, the answer has been to create civic engagement initiatives unique to our student population using research, best practices, and cross-campus collaborations.