Dr. Harry Boyte Speaks at Systemwide
Understanding the vast meaning of civic engagement
and the role of service learning in fostering civic
engagement are two complex and interrelated topics.
As part of an ongoing effort to clarify these issues,
the Office of Community Service Learning invited Dr.
Harry Boyte to speak at a recent systemwide meeting.
Dr. Boyte is co-director of the Center
for Democracy and Citizenship at the University
of Minnesota and is a renowned scholar and writer in
the field of civic engagement.
Dr. Boyte asserts that there is an urgent need for
higher education to restore its democratic purposes.
He frames civic engagement in two ways: a deep identity
in our institutions or as a set of activities and programs.
He advocates for the first approach and acknowledges
that institutional change is necessary. He states, “As
we become democracy colleges grounded in places, we
will help the entire society renew our democratic promise,
of democracy as a continuing work and a way of life,
not simply elections, institutions, and structures.”
In his commentary, Free
Spaces and Service Learning, Dr. Boyte explores
other issues affecting the “education for democracy”
movement and recommends three roles for service-learning
offices. Additional resources
suggested by Dr. Boyte are also available.
of Past and Present Civic Participants
not only brings warmer weather, it also signifies several
opportunities for campuses and communities to celebrate
the voices of past leaders, such as Cesar Chavez, and
to find their own voices through national initiatives
Your Voice Month of Action (RYV).
- In celebration of Cesar Chavez Day of Service and
Learning on March 31st, more than 50 students from
Humboldt State University volunteered at the Wiyot
Tribe Table Bluff Reservation in Loleta, removing
debris and non-native plants from the native plant
- The Cal Poly Pomona community held numerous events
throughout RYV Month of Action. In January, President,
J. Michael Ortiz, joined faculty, students and community
members in a panel discussion asking the question:
“What is civic engagement?” In early March,
student clubs/ organizations and campus departments
designed “Exhibition of Expressions” posters
identifying issues that were important to them.
- San Jose State University participated in Campus
Compact’s National Teleconference: Get a
Job or Get a Life (or Both). SJSU submitted two
questions to the national discussion, one of which
asked, “Where is the impetus, who drives the
civic mission at most universities: administration,
faculty or students?” On March 14th, over 120
student leaders spent five hours working on clean-up
and construction tasks as part of the University’s
3rd Annual Serve-A-Thon and in honor of the upcoming
Cesar Chavez holiday.