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NC College Voter Summit prepares students to #votehot

On September 10, nearly 60 student leaders from 17 NC campuses gathered at Elon University for a full Saturday of training on best practices for non-partisan voter engagement. In whole group and break-out sessions led by veteran organizers from Democracy NC, the Campus Vote Project, and NC PIRG, students dug into such topics as: working with your local board of elections, effective use of social media, and using voter pledges to get-out-the-vote.0910161529a_resized

demncmarcusDemocracy NC organizer Marcus Bass kicked off the morning by telling the story of voting in the United States, drawing a line from the Founding Fathers, through the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, to the passage in 1971 of the 26th Amendment granting 18-year-olds the right to vote, and finally to the students present in the room.

Bass declared, “This is what democracy looks like.”

Mike Burns, national director of the Campus Vote Project, provided an update on the current North Carolina voting rules in the wake of the federal court of appeals decision. Burns also pointed out key supports for college student voting. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Symm v. U.S. held stricter cvpmikeresidency standards for college students are unconstitutional, thus protecting students’ choice to register to vote in a campus community or a parent’s residence (but NOT both!). Burns also noted the Higher Education Act’s mandate that colleges and universities “make voter registration forms widely available your students and distribute those forms individually.” In a subsequent session, Burns dispelled some common myths that might deter students from registering in NC.

During her session on local issues and social media, Democracy NC staffer Jen Jones asked students why they’d given up a Saturday to learn about voter engagement, and live-streamed their comments.

“We came to be a resource for others because they don’t teach you how to do this in high school,” said one Western Carolina student. “It’s not something everyone knows how to do, especially if you’re a kid, eighteen, coming to a big campus you don’t know how to get involved.”

“We’re the biggest population since the baby boomers,” said another participant. “If anyone is going to make a change it will be our generation.”

demnccait

Students learn tips for working with their local board of elections.

During lunch, students from several schools shared lighting presentations of work they were doing. Among the presenters, CEEP Election Engagement Fellow Timira Conley (NCSU) shared the Pack the Polls initiative, and Elise Wilson (UNCW) shared the schedule of events planned for UNCW Votes week. Elon University’s Vote Everywhere Ambassadors June Shuler and Gabby Vance shared their campus commitment to a cross-departmental collaboration in the Elon Votes! project.

Together, the student leaders who attended the summit have a chance to engage more than 200,000 students enrolled collectively at the 17 colleges and universities represented.

More information about the event can be found via Twitter hashtag #NCvoter16. More resources for campus voter engagement can be found on the CEEP-NC webpage. For general voter info visit Democracy NC’s www.ncvoter.org.

Sponsoring partners included the Andrew Goodman Foundation, Campus Vote Project, the Campus Election Engagement Project, Democracy NC, Elon University’s Kernodle Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement, NC PIRG, and NC Campus Compact.

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CEEP Student Fellows lead efforts to engage college student voters

CEEP_Logo_2014This summer — with support from the national Campus Election Engagement Project and Ben & Jerry’s “Democracy in Your Hands” initiative — we welcomed 5 student leaders to our EE Fellows Program. They joined a group of 12 student fellows who began working last spring to support non-partisan, campus-based efforts to engage student voters this fall and to institutionalize programs and processes to sustain future democratic participation on their campus. Learn more about these democratically-dedicated election energizers below.

Coleman headshotItane’ Coleman
UNC Greensboro / UNCG Votes
Advisor: Kristina Snader

Itane’ is a senior double-majoring in political science and African-American studies. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Itane’ is a social justice and diversity peer educator and a University Marshal. This summer, she was an intern with Democracy NC’s “Democracy Summer.”

Conley_picTimira Conley
NC State University / Pack the Polls
Advisor: Melissa Green

Timira is a junior double-majoring in political science and foreign languages (Arabic). Originally from Durham, NC, Timira is currently serving as the Director of Diversity Outreach for NCSU’s Student Government, and she is a former intern with Common Cause NC.

Hester_DevonDevon Hester
UNC Pembroke / UNCP Votes
Advisor: Dalton Hoffer

Devon is a sophomore double-majoring in history and political science. Originally from Hope Mills, NC, Devon is an SGA Senator and officer in UNCP’s political science club.

 

PerrinLuke Perrin
NC State University / Pack the Polls
Advisor: Laura Stott

Luke is a sophomore majoring in political science. Originally from Hickory, NC, Luke is Student Senator and chairs the Student Government’s Committee on Government Regulations. He is also active in the political science club and is a University Scholar.

Radcliffe_headshotCassie Radcliffe
UNC Wilmington / UNCW Votes
Advisor: Erin Williamson

Cassie is a senior double-majoring in political science and international studies. Originally from Gainsville, Florida, Cassie has served in student government as VP of community service, was on the leadership council of Seahawks Links, and held a leadership role in a regional association of residence halls.

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Welcoming the new VISTA Program Coordinator

Last month, NC Campus Compact welcomed Amber Rh331f52bodes as our new VISTA Program Coordinator. Amber brings knowledge and experience from two completed VISTA service terms. She served her first year as a MT Campus Compact VISTA with Montana College Access Network in Helena, MT. Her second term was spent with the Asheville City Schools Foundation in Asheville, NC supporting public schools in the community. She is a Greensboro, NC native and an alumna of UNC Greensboro (’11 and ’14).

As VISTA program coordinator, Amber will support a cohort of 15 full-time VISTA volunteers building campus-community partnerships at 11 campus and community sites. She is looking forward to working with VISTA members as well as building and maintaining relationships with supervisors and community partners.

“This position gives me the opportunity to utilize my knowledge of the VISTA experience as well as develop new skills in a supervisory role,” says Amber. “It is also an amazing opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of how institutions of higher education are engaging communities and addressing local concerns surrounding poverty.”

We are happy to wish Amber a warm welcome as she settles into her VISTA Program Coordinator role.

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Garvin to participate in policy fellowship on afterschool and expanded learning

garvin_leslie_webExecutive director Leslie Garvin is among 16 leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning nationwide to be named a White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow. The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University (Greenville, S.C.) and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The new class of White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows brings the total number of program participants to 75 since the initiative was launched in 2012.

Through discussion of actual case studies led by policy change-makers, the Fellowship equips graduates with a real world understanding of the art and science of sound policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning. In the 10-month program, which begins in October, Fellows will study afterschool/expanded learning policy and develop and implement state-level policy projects in partnership with their Statewide Afterschool Networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

Garvin will use the fellowship to research and plan a statewide collaboration with the NC Center for Afterschool Programs. A potential partnership could involve a re-design of the Compact’s long-running AmeriCorps VISTA program to focus exclusively on building capacity of campus-community programs that reach low-income K-12 students in afterschool and extended learning settings. A focus on afterschool and extended learning would also align with national Campus Compact’s strategic priority to promote learning and success in K-12 educational settings.

“I am looking forward to learning more about how our campuses can partner to support families, communities, and community service organizations that focus on afterschool and extended learning,” says Garvin.

The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship is named for William S. White, President and CEO of the C.S. Mott Foundation; Richard W. Riley, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education under President Clinton; and Dr. Terry Peterson, National Board Chair with the Afterschool Alliance, Director, Afterschool and Community Learning Network, and senior fellow at the Riley Institute.

“The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship has matured into a potent force to help move afterschool and expanded learning policy forward across the country,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute.

For a full listing of the 2016-17 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows, follow this link: http://news.furman.edu/2016/07/05/white-riley-peterson-policy-fellows-named/.

Learn more about the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship. Or contact Cathy Stevens at the Riley Institute (864) 294-3265, or cathy.stevens@furman.edu.

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Meet the 2016-17 AmeriCorps VISTA members!

We are excited to introduce our 2016-17 cohort of new and returning NC Campus Compact Orientation2_cropAmeriCorps VISTAs, who kicked off their year of service earlier this month. The 15 incoming VISTAs were selected from a competitive pool of candidates to serve at 11 campus and community host sites throughout the state. Our VISTAs came together August 17-18th at Elon University for an orientation and service project and have now headed back to their host-sites to continue their valuable work. We thank all our members for their commitment to service and are looking forward to another inspiring year!

We asked our VISTAs to share a little more about themselves including what motivated them to become a NC Campus Compact VISTA, what they are looking forward to most this year and their favorite free time activities. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Christopher Baker
C.Baker Host Site: William Peace University
Partner SiteHope Charter
Focus Area: Education
Hometown: Kingsport, Tennessee
Graduated from: Emory & Henry College in Virginia with a double major in History and Public Policy and Community Service

-As a VISTA at William Peace University, I’m charged with developing a partnership with Hope Charter school and preparing and managing Peace student volunteers. Prior to joining VISTA, I worked as a librarian at High Point University.
-I taught in the public schools for 7 years total and have a Master’s in Education.
-Originally from Kingsport, Tennessee, I’ve lived in Virginia (twice), West Virginia, and now North Carolina (two different places).

Nicole Blyskal
N.BlyskalHost Site: East Carolina University
Partner Site: Greenville Harvest
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Hometown: Mahopac, New York
Graduated from: East Carolina University with a BS in Nutrition/Dietetics

– At ECU I was part of the Student Dietetic Association, worked as a student-worker at the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, volunteered with Campus Kitchen and Cultivate Greenville, and participated in multiple National Days of Service.
-Being an NC Campus Compact appealed to me because it will allow to to continue serving the community while learning more about non-profit work and food sustainability.
– For fun I enjoy being outdoors, listening to music and painting.

Erin Espinosa
E.EspinosaHost Site: Feast Down East
Partner Site: UNC Wilmington
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Graduated from: University of North Carolina Wilmington with a B.S in Environmental Science with a minor in Spanish

– I was drawn to serve with AmeriCorps and FDE after completing a sociology course on poverty and volunteering with similar organizations. I am eager to witness, firsthand, poverty in America and do my part in alleviation.
– Aside from serving, I enjoy choreographing and dancing for various studios and companies. I also have a few years of sustainable farming experience and hope to pursue this further in the future!

Ethan Flynn
Focus Area: Economic Opportunity
Home Town: Marion, NC
Graduated from: Appalachian State University with a major in Sociology
– Sociology has guided me toward social and human services. My choice to become an NC Campus Compact VISTA came from learning how this AmeriCorps program can help me continue the type of work I have passion for.
– I am most looking forward to putting my best effort into making my project successful and enjoyable. I already love the organization I am going to be working for, and I couldn’t be happier to begin something new with them.
– In the cold months I snowboard as much as possible with a close group of friends. Being on a snowboard has been my getaway for the past few years, and I can’t imagine living anywhere other than the mountains.

Allison Heisel
A.Heisel

Host Site: UNC Greensboro Office of Leadership and Service-Learning
Partner Site: BackPack Beginnings
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Graduated from: College of William & Mary with a B.A. in Philosophy

– During my time at William & Mary, I was an actively engaged in Branch Out Alternative Breaks as a participant, site leader, and student director, and was the founder and facilitator of the Diversity in Philosophy Discussion Group.
– I am excited to be an NC Campus Compact AC/VISTA because I believe in the connective and community-building power of food, and I am eager to learn how to be a better advocate and ally in the movement for intersectional food justice.
-In my free time, I enjoy working on farms and in gardens, as well as cooking with and for my family and friends. I can also often be found curled up with a good book or philosophically-oriented podcast.

Patrick Long
P.LongHost Site: Western Carolina University
Partner Site:  The Community Table
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Graduated from: Appalachian State University with a degree in Psychology

– In undergrad I was involved in our leadership development office and service learning office, as well as serving as chapter president of Amnesty International on our campus. I was interested in being a campus compact VISTA, because it gave me the opportunity to combine two of my main interests; student affairs and non profit work. I’m most looking forward to all the skills and abilities I can learn as a VISTA.
-In my free time I enjoy hiking and binge watching indie movies.

Brittaney McClure
B.McClureHost Site: High Point University
Partner Site:  Washington St. Project
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Graduated from: High Point University with a B.A. in Communication and minor in Photography

– The dedication and impact that being a VISTA for the North Carolina Compact in the local community appealed to me the most when applying for this position.  I am really looking forward to partnering with the community to help them create bright futures and learning about each person’s story.
-For fun I love to go out and photograph people and nature.

Gabrielle Middlebrooks
G.MiddlebrooksHost Site: Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History
Partner Site:  UNC Chapel Hill Department of Communications
Focus Area: Economic Opportunity
Graduated from: University at Albany with a B.A. in political science

-Campus Compact reflected many of the same values, and long term community service goals I upheld as an undergraduate.
-I’m looking forward to joining the Marian Cheek Jackson Center in their efforts to honor, renew and build community in the Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods of Chapel Hill.

Samantha Paterno
S.PaternoHost Site: High Point University
Partner Site:  Washington St. Project
Focus Area: Education
Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Graduated from: High Point University with a degree in Strategic Communications

-My host site is High Point University! I will be focusing on education in the High Point Community. I was a member of Alpha Delta Theta, the christian service sorority on campus and spent a year as Chaplain for the sorority. I am looking forward to working in the High Point community this upcoming year!
-I love playing any and all sports!

Brittany Reyes
BReyesHost Site: Duke University Community Service Center
Partner Site:  Durham Public Schools
Focus Area: Education
Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Graduated from: University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Arts and concentration in Communication Studies

– I have always wanted to work in a program setting helping parents and children in the community to help them succeed together. Here at Duke I will be getting that opportunity I’ve always dreamed of.
-Walking from this I’ll have the tools and experience I need to make a difference in the community.

Jenna Rosenbloom
J.RosenbloomHost Site: High Point University
Partner Site: West End Ministries
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Graduated from: High Point University with a BA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and minor in Women and Gender Studies

-I am a Phi Mu Gamma Zeta Alumni and had the opportunity to participate in team events within the greek life at High Point University. What appealed to me most about being an NC Campus Compact VISTA was the opportunity to gain experience within the community/nonprofit sector as well as the chance to make a difference for those in need, thus following my passion of helping others.
-During my free time I like to hike, go to the gym, paint, kayak, watch movies, go on unplanned adventures, and spend time with my loved ones.

Lizzie Shepard
Partner Site: West Greenville Community Youth-Based Partners
Focus Area: Education
Hometown: Walkertown, NC
Graduated from: Queens University of Charlotte with a major in Psychology

– I enjoy giving back to the community and I was encouraged to join by a past VISTA.
– I am looking forward to help those in need and to be a positive role model while gaining experience this year.
– I like to spend time with friends in my free time.


Priya Sreenivasan
P.SreenivasanHost Site: Community Empowerment Fund
Partner Site: UNC Chapel Hill-NC Poverty Research Fund
Focus Area: Economic Opportunity
Hometown: Cary, NC
Graduated from: UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Social and Economic Justice

-I am excited to help the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) improve data collection and the financial savings program. I am also looking forward to creating a new network with fellow VISTA members.
-I volunteered with CEF in college, and participated in the APPLES Service Learning program, both of which led me to apply for a position with NC Campus Compact.
-In my free time I love hiking, jogging, and spending quality time with friends.

Megan Stanley
M.StanleyHost Site: Marion Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History
Partner Site: UNC Chapel Hill Department of Communications
Focus Area: Education
Graduated from: UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and two minors in Education and Medical Anthropology

-Characterizing my time at Carolina, service has been at the forefront of my journey as a Tar Heel and is one thing I look forward to continuing with NC Campus Compact.
-As I transition into this VISTA role, I am most excited to learn and connect with the Northside community and help the youth see themselves in a rich history that surrounds them each day! I’m hoping to make fulfilling connections and further explore education as a passion.
-Fun: Watching the Food Network; Running; Baking; Meeting new people and hearing their stories/backgrounds

Audrey Waggoner
A.WaggonerHost Site: Guilford College
Partner Site: Guilford College Farm
Focus Area: Healthy Futures
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Graduated from: UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Social and Economic Justice

-What attracted me to the VISTA program has been my experience with community outreach and gardening. I have been so inspired and motivated by people I’ve met that see their neighbors as extended family.
-I also am interested in self-sufficiency in terms of learning and appreciating how to do things for yourself like making yogurt, re-glazing a window, building something.
-And finally, I like connecting with people through food, cooking, and gardening which just so happens to be a major component of my VISTA position 🙂

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College voter engagement summit to train non-partisan student leaders

Summit bannerNC Campus Compact, in collaboration with other state and national partners, will host a 1-day training event for students who are leading non-partisan, student voter engagement activities at NC colleges and universities. Sessions will include updates on NC election law, training on organizing and best practices for voter engagement, and campus idea exchange. This event is geared for students who have baseline knowledge of voter engagement and are looking for more in-depth training. FREE but you must RSVP! (Box lunch will be served.)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, SEPT. 2nd! Register now.

Learn more and connect on the Summit event page.
Sponsored by Andrew Goodman Foundation, Campus Vote Project, Democracy NC, Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, NC PIRG, and North Carolina Campus Compact.

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Summer network meetings connect campuses for civic action planning

NCSU2NC Campus Compact’s twice-yearly network meetings bring together key campus contacts for professional development, networking, and a chance to learn what’s new in civic and community engagement at coalition schools. Last week’s summer network meetings at Davidson College and UNC Wilmington brought together 52 faculty and administrators representing 24 campuses.

On August 2nd at Davidson, participants were welcomed by President Carol Quillen, a member of NC Campus Compact’s executive board, who spoke of the college’s liberal arts tradition as rooted in the notions of education as a public good and learning that empowers students to build a just society. On August 4th at UNCW, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students Mike Walker welcomed our group, and shared news of the university’s expanded programs and facilities as well as a new strategic plan that includes civic and community engagement as a key focus.

During the professional development portion of the day, executive director Leslie Garvin led a process of “planning to plan,” readying campuses to develop their own Civic Action Plans this fall. The plans are the next step in putting into practice the principles expressed in national Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement. The statement was signed last spring by more than 25 NC presidents and chancellors, who joined more than 400 signatories nationwide.

Key NC Campus Compact updates included previews of 2016-17 programs and events, including:

  • the annual student conference CSNAP, hosted in November by UNC Asheville
  • the annual NC Presidents Forum, hosted by NC A&T State University on February 8, 2017
  • a social change forum to explore connections between social entrepreneurship and community engagement, hosted by Duke University on February 14, 2017
  • the Gulf-South Summit in March 2017, hosted by UNC Greensboro, which is taking the place of the Compact’s annual PACE Conference
  • the Community Engagement Administrators Conference focusing on alternative breaks, hosted by Elon University on June 6-7, 2017.

Among the many exciting campus updates, we learned:

  • Davidson College will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Bonner Program this year while UNC Charlotte will welcome its first Bonner cohort.
  • NC Central University is sponsoring a new state AmeriCorps program focusing on veterans and Wake Forest University has created its own AmeriCorps VISTA program to support non-profit partners in Winston-Salem.
  • UNC Wilmington has created the #EngageUNCW program to encourage university staff to utilize their paid community service leave and is sponsoring an engagement summit this fall to convene local community partners and various engaged university departments and divisions.
  • Many campuses are supporting non-partisan student voting and election engagement efforts with the help of working groups and student fellows from organizations like the Andrew Goodman Foundation, Campus Vote Project, and the Campus Election Engagement Project.
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