Today, I sent the following message to students about an exciting new initiative to support student involvement in the upcoming elections:
Our Civic Action Plan at Wesleyan underscores that developing civic readiness in our students is not ancillary to our mission but central to it. We hope to “prepare our students to engage in civic participation throughout their lives.”
Wesleyan has a long history of providing opportunities for working in the public sphere in ways that contribute to the political education of our students. The elections of 2018 are a crucial moment for our country, and we want to help those students eager to take an active role in campaigns.
Today, we are formally announcing a new Student Political Engagement Fund to support this important work. I have asked the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships to award grants of up to $500 to students volunteering on political campaigns or working on a political issue—either locally or in their home communities—during fall break, from October 19–24. See the WesEngage blog for more details, and resources on getting involved.
A pragmatic liberal education at Wesleyan should enable many forms of participation in public life. With these new micro-grants, we are hoping to encourage those who want to use their fall break to participate in this vital electoral season. You can make a difference!
Michael S. Roth