CSU Impact - CSL Newsletter
Volume I, No. 10
Your monthly source of Community Service-Learning News
June 1, 2004

News Stories

Humboldt students discuss ways to promote activism.

Student Engagement Across the Campus

What are some ways to promote student involvement in addition to community service learning? The following examples demonstrate that grass roots organizing and on-line tools can be effective vehicles to energize students:

The Daily SunDial, the CSU Northridge student newspaper, has developed a weblog that encourages dialogue about various issues. Asking students for their views on same-sex marriage is one of the current questions.

Campuses Organized and United for Good Health (COUGH) students from eight CSU campuses requested a smoking ban within 20 feet of CSU buildings. As a result of a petition, a number of campuses changed their policies. This achievement is significant since it is the first time that CSU authorities established rules about smoking on campus grounds. Now COUGH is asking for a systemwide smoking cessation plan for students.

CSU Chico students are circulating a petition that asks the CSU system to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2014 and build new buildings with environment-friendly standards. A student-led ballot initiative, which was just passed at Humboldt State University, requires students to pay $10 extra a semester to create a fund that will support renewable energy projects.

CSL 411

As the CSU prepares to recognize thousands of graduating students at commencement ceremonies, it will also honor over 500 CSU students who have provided a year of service through national service programs such as AmeriCorps. In June, GO SERV will announce its funding decisions for next year's programs.

CSU Impact takes a summer sabbatical and will return in September. Tell us what you would like to hear in future issues - we are listening.


A Year in Review - the CSU's Many Paths to Civic Involvement

As we conclude another year, the CSU has once again demonstrated its deep-rooted commitment to offering multiple pathways for students to be more civically engaged. The CSU’s strong commitment to community service learning not only enhances the educational experience, it also reinforces the significant role higher education plays in America’s multicultural democratic life. This issue is a review of collective accomplishments in community service learning and a glimpse of future efforts.

Civic Engagement

A breadth of practitioners consisting of students, faculty, administrators, staff and community leaders have thoughtfully examined strategies for achieving student engagement. At San Jose State University (SJSU), Annette Nellen, Chair of the Academic Senate, facilitated a year-long dialogue about the meaning of "educated citizen" and its connection to SJSU's curriculum. American Democracy Project, an initiative co-sponsored by American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the New York Times, is a similar effort that encourages higher education to review and restructure academic programs, extracurricular activities and the institutional culture to promote greater student commitment. Ten CSU campuses are a part of this initiative, and in June, CSU leaders will come together to share ideas about how to support multiple civic engagement projects that span across the campus.

Service Learning

The CSU’s service-learning accomplishments are many and include advancing knowledge about the practices of service learning and actively receiving support from CSU leadership.

A number of faculty have begun to focus more intensely on publishing service-learning articles. Valerie C. McKay and Patricia D. Rozee from CSU Long Beach recently published an article in the Spring 2004 Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning on characteristics of faculty who adopt service learning. In the upcoming year, roles and rewards for faculty and community scholarship will be interrelated themes with systemwide and campus efforts. Jerry Eisman, CSU’s Service-Learning Scholar, is interested in promoting a systemwide conversation about these themes. Also, San Francisco State University will host a colloquium series examining the “Boyer Model of Scholarship.”

Throughout the year, several presidents have openly espoused community service learning in convocation speeches, systemwide events and written commentaries. Senator John D. Vasconcellos, a staunch supporter, also spoke at the CSU Colloquium on Community Service Learning. Increasing support from influential leaders on campus and across the nation will be an ongoing priority.