Student Resource Guide to Civic Engagement (4)
This is the final part of Karen Buhr's report on Civic Engagement in Graduate Education - Students. Part 3 was posted yesterday.
Ways to get engaged, continued
11. Promote your program as a volunteer at the state fair
Every year the University of Minnesota staffs a booth at the state fair. Volunteer to hand out literature and talk about your program. Free state fair admission usually comes as a perk. Contact your department coordinator to see if there are opportunities in your department. If not, contact University Relations or the Alumni Association.
12. Get involved with student government
I know, you’re not the student government type. Don’t worry, none of us are. Student government always needs people that want to get involved in their campus and change the University for the benefit of us all. Your level of involvement can range from attending a few meetings, volunteering to represent student government on an issue that is important to you, becoming an officer or just attending social events. However you do it, get involved. You will develop skills that last a lifetime, may get to network, and will make the University better for those who come behind you. There are many organizations to get involved with:
- GAPSA- The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly represents all graduate and professional students to the university administration, various branches of government, and local communities. They also offer social opportunities and a variety of grants including travel grants.
- Your college council- Each college has its own council and most councils need help in working to make their school better. Get involved, make changes and get to know your fellow students. If you are a student in the graduate school, contact the Council of Graduate Students. For every other college, go to your college website for more information.
- Your department- Your department may or may not have its own student government. Get involved with yours or create one if one doesn’t exist. Contact your dean, talk to other students, talk to your college council and find out how you can help.
13. Create a graduate component of ‘alternative spring break’
Alternative spring break is a great opportunity to use your free time for the betterment of others while traveling across the country and meeting new people. The program that exists now was organized by undergraduate students and could greatly benefit from a graduate student component. You can start an alternative spring break for graduate students.
14. Bring a national campaign local
Are you passionate about a national cause like cancer or AIDs research, domestic violence prevention or saving the environment? Bring a national public interest group local. Create a University of Minnesota chapter of your favorite organization. Contact that organization for information. Then contact the Student Activities Office to make it official
Don’t have time for an ongoing project? Throw a benefit concert, host a local component of a national fundraiser like Relay For Life, or work a concession stand at a sporting event and donate the money to your charity of choice.
15. Explore opportunities at the Career and Community Learning Center
The career and community learning center has many opportunities available with various local organizations. Find one that meets your needs.