October 29, 2008 Your Monthly Source of Community Service-Learning News VOL. 6, NO. 3


The Youth Vote in the 2008 Primaries and Caucuses

More than 6.5 million young people under the age of 30 participated in the 2008 primaries and caucuses.  For more information on levels of participation among young people in elections and other forms of civic engagement, visit CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

New CSU Monograph on Political Engagement

The latest issue of the CSU Monograph Series, Multidisciplinary Perspectives through Service Learning: Research, Advocacy and Political Engagement, edited by Sally Tannenbaum, CSU Fresno, is now available. This latest monograph showcases “innovative approaches to using service learning to introduce students to political engagement.”

Congress to Campus Program

The U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress created the Congress to Campus Program in an effort to improve college students’ understanding of Congress and American government and to encourage them to consider careers in public service.  The program sends bipartisan pairs of former Members of Congress – one Democrat and one Republican – to visit university campuses around the country.

Reflections on a Birthday: The American Democracy Project Turns Five

George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change at AASCU, reflects on lessons learned from the last five years, which can challenge us in the CSU to think more deeply about student civic engagement outcomes.


CAMPUS NEWS continued...

CSU Fresno’s Why 1509? Campaign
Fresno State students were being asked Why 1509? in September and October.  This campaign is part of a broad voter education, registration and mobilization (VERM) effort taking place at CSU Fresno.  Read more.

San José State’s Vote for the Future Campaign

At San José State, just as on many other CSU campuses, the effort to engage students politically this fall was a group effort.  From voter registration drives and rallies to panel discussions and symposiums. Read more.

CSU Channel Islands’ Election-Related Lectures, Forums
CSU Channel Islands hosted a series of election-related lectures and forums open to the public to educate the campus and the community and inspire participation in this election.  Read more.


The California State Student Association (CSSA) Takes Leadership Role in Student Voter Registration, Education and Mobilization

In August 2008, Secretary of State Debra Bowen presented the California State Student Association (CSSA) with the prestigious NASS Medallion Award for outstanding service promoting the goals of the National Association of Secretaries of State in the area of non-partisan voter education and outreach.

“The California State Student Association has developed some very innovative strategies for registering new voters and encouraging them to cast ballots on election day. CSSA and other students have done phenomenal work to help register 31,000 CSU students to vote in the last two general elections,” said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California’s chief elections officer.

Now with the presidential election approaching, CSSA has not only registered 17,207 students this fall, well surpassing their goal of 10,000, they also have very active education and mobilization campaigns going on.  They are producing a non-partisan student-voter guide, to be released this week, and have launched the “I’m going all the way” campaign, a non-partisan effort to encourage students to vote on all ballot measures, not simply the presidential candidate.  “CSU students not only participate in their communities, they also care about their communities and the future of those communities, which is why they vote,” shared Susana Gonzalez, Executive Director of CSSA.


Youth Voter Turnout Increased in 2004; Will 2008 Show a Greater Increase?

The youth-voter turnout (ages 18-24) jumped 11 percentage points between the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. "In 2004, approximately 11.6 million American youth voted in the presidential election, which represents an increase of more than 3 million from 2000, and the greatest number of votes cast by 18- to 24-year olds since 1972," reported CIRCLE researchers in 2005.

So, will this encouraging trend continue for the 2008 presidential election? CSU campuses, students and faculty are certainly working hard to ensure that it does continue.

Over the last several months, students, faculty and administrators, including groups such as CSSA, CFA, community engagement offices and disciplinary groups, have held forums, debates and brown-bag seminars, hosted voter-registration drives, offered classes on the election and civic participation, and more. Through creative and innovative efforts, CSU campuses are encouraging participation in one of our country's most important rights and responsibilities - VOTING! Read more about some of the incredible efforts to engage the largest student body in the country in this historic presidential election.

San Francisco State’s “Presidential
Election” Class
The 330 students enrolled in this course are critically examining the presidential electoral process and the 2008 campaign issues in light of their historical, social, economic, political and cultural context with the help of distinguished SFSU faculty from a variety of disciplines through panels, roundtables and group discussions. Read more.

CSU Dominguez Hills’ iVote Campaign
CSU Dominguez Hills implemented the iVote Campaign, a Campus Compact initiative encouraging higher education institutions to help educate and empower students to vote and to make the process of staying engaged easier throughout the sometimes confusing election season. Read more.

CSU San Marcos’s Pizza, Politics, Debates and Concerts
The American Democracy Project at CSU San Marcos has partnered with a number of campus organizations in order to provide a plethora of opportunities to learn about the issues of this election, stimulate respectful dialogue and increase civic participation on campus and within the larger community.  Read more.

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Questions?For ideas, comments, or questions
about editorial content, e-mail Judy Botelho at jbotelho@calstate.edu.

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