TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound has been named as a leading institution in a new, national initiative that aims to promote civic learning and democratic engagement by college students.
The national liberal arts college is one of only 50 U.S. institutions to be recognized as a Civic Learning Leadership Institution and to be a partner in a new effort led by NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the leading voice for the student affairs profession.
As a participant in NASPA’s initiative, Puget Sound will continue developing new efforts and partnerships that encourage students to be engaged, active citizens; to serve their communities; and to undertake leadership roles both on and off campus.
“Puget Sound is pleased to be selected to participate in this network of institutions dedicated to developing students’ sense of civic purpose,” said Mike Segawa, vice president and dean of students. “Civic engagement is one of the core values of a college education and being recognized as a national leader in this realm attests to the quality of our existing efforts and of our commitment to inspiring students to challenge themselves through leadership and service now and in their lives ahead.”
Puget Sound students and campus members have already made extensive efforts in assisting the greater Tacoma local community. They have also been busy educating others about political engagement, and contributing to national and international social justice efforts.
Under President Ronald R. Thomas, the college launched the Civic Scholarship Initiative, Race and Pedagogy Initiative, and Sound Policy Institute, all of which create channels to direct the scholarship and resources of Puget Sound toward improving the lives and futures of those in the community.
Additionally students and faculty contribute to the public welfare through academic and classroom initiatives in the sciences, arts, business and leadership, humanities, health sciences, and other programs. Student-led efforts in democratic and humanitarian engagement arise regularly, with surprising and heartening spontaneity. Examples have included students creating a Global Medical Brigades chapter and rendering assistance to victims of both the 2010 Haitian earthquake and 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Year after year, numerous students also take advantage of volunteer opportunities through offices including the Community Involvement and Action Center; Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice; Student Activities; Logger athletic programs; and Greek Life.
To learn more about NASPA’s Lead Initiative and view a complete listing of participating institutions, please visit the NASPA website at: http://www.naspa.org/clde/lead_initiative.cfm
Photos on page: Top right: Students in the Global Medical Brigade help out in Honduras; Above left: Students volunteer for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to clean out Tacoma gulches; a student volunteer tutors children through the E.T.C. Tutoring program in Pierce County.
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