By Stephanie Raill, Macalester College, and Elizabeth Hollander, Campus Compact
Students Envision a Truly Engaged Campus n this imagined campus, respectful dialogue about public issues resonates through residence halls, public spaces, and classrooms. A sense of commitment and purpose is palpable among students, as well as among administrators, staff, and faculty. Students find ways to contribute to the public good that they enjoy and find fulfilling and that often intersect with their course of study. There is constant activity around campus as students and others work on service projects, advocacy campaigns, and community based research.
In administrative offices and program centers, staff members and administrators solicit and value students’ opinions. Because of these forums, students feel ownership of their education, and especially of their civic learning. Rather than a responsibility thrust upon them, the students see civic engagement as something they can choose and shape to fit their own lives and interests. Graduates of this school leave the campus as active and engaged citizens. As businesspeople, public servants, nurses, or chemists, these graduates bring a strong commitment to society into their field. Outside the workplace, they raise the quality of public dialogue, use their knowledge of public issues to hold their legislators accountable, and contribute to community improvement. They go on to build a society in which more people live in a respectful, responsible, and civil way.