Periclean Student Delegates Inspire at the 2019 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ National Conference
Read the full Spring 2019 Newsletter.
The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter
Volume 15, Winter 2018-2019
"An educated citizenry is the essential instrument for promoting
responsible social action and community well-being." - Eugene M. Lang
To view the newsletter with photos: Winter 2018 Newsletter.
National Office News
To the Polls - Student Teams Rally Their Classmates
Comprised of student-led task forces on our member campuses, Student Choices-Student Voices (SCSV) encourages civic participation by hosting an array of events and activities about national issues for students and community members. Leading up to the November elections, many campuses ran active voter registration and get out the vote drives. Below are updates from Macalester College, Wagner College, Hendrix College, and Bates College.
Mac the Vote!
By Ryan Perez ('20)
Leading up to election day, our Campaign Involvement Lunch, Elections Trivia Night, Mac the Vote Rally, and general publicity/communications made information about the elections unavoidable.
I asked one student if he knew about the election (the week before), and his response was "How could I not? It's literally everywhere!"
Our culminating event was a campus-wide "Mac the Vote!" rally to build student power in the upcoming elections, featuring organizers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Acción Latina (COPAL), National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Planned Parenthood Action, OutFront MN, Sunrise Movement, and Students Demand Action MN.
On election day, we had an election day party in our campus center and three parades. Despite bad weather, these events were well attended. Rough data/estimates from political parties indicate that our election day turnout was on-par with presidential election years! This corresponds to a nationwide trend. I can't wait for the next Tufts report [National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement] to know specifically just how well we did.
Ryan Perez is one of the leaders behind the Macalester College SCSV team.
The Wagner Student Choices-Student Voices Team Rolls Out the Vote
By Bernadette Ludwig, Wagner College
This semester Wagner College participated in Project Pericles' Student Choices-Student Voices (SCSV) program to increase voter turnout among college students. We offered many ways for students to register to vote including registration stations during first-year orientation, in-class registrations, and information sharing on social media.
Our team of students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement used creative strategies to connect with students prior to and on Election Day. We partnered with Staten Island's Swing Left chapter to register New York residents (regardless of their political affiliation) to vote. The team posted flyers around campus and on social media, including one, developed by Andrew Kolar ('22), with a QR code that took students directly to information about absentee ballots.
SCSV Get Out the Vote - Wagner College
Election Day, we had shuttles to drive students to and from the local polling place. In addition to signs around campus to encourage voting, volunteers (students, staff, and faculty) walked or drove in a golf cart ( Seth Jolles '22 who got "van certified" just for this) to either remind students to vote or "reward" those who had voted with stickers, Mardi Gras beads, and candy.
Dario Anderson ('19) said this outreach to students was, "a wonderful [and] exhilarating experience." Connie Campbell ('22), echoed this saying "it felt really good to hear all the students saying that they voted."
The day ended with an Election Watch Party with pizza and a raffle.
Bernadette Ludwig is Associate Professor, Sociology; Director of Civic Engagement Minor; and Project Pericles Program Director, Wagner College.
Hendrix SCSV Encourages Conway Community to "Know Your Ballot"
By Jay Barth, Hendrix College
The Hendrix College SCSV Task Force organized a "Know Your Ballot" event on Monday, October 29th. This event was advertised to the broader Conway community through a newspaper advertisement and press releases. We also worked with the Faulkner County League of Women Voters in outreach efforts. Approximately 75-80 folks attended the event, including a number of off-campus community members.
During the event, Drew Coker '19 provided an overview of the voting process (what students should expect, what ID they needed, etc.) Dr. Jay Barth then provided an overview of the ballot measures on the Arkansas ballot. Local candidates (state legislature, county, and city officials) then each spoke briefly. A reception was held after the event. On Election Day night, a watch party was held on campus and approximately 50 community members watched the results.
Jay Barth is the M.E. and Ima Graves Peace Distinguished Professor of Politics, Director of Civic Engagement Projects, and Project Pericles Program Director, Hendrix College.
Bobcats VOTE! Bates Students Lead the Way
By Peggy Rotundo, Bates College
Throughout the day on Election Day, Bates student leaders guided groups of their peers from the Dining Commons to the polling place, just a short walk from campus. President Clayton Spencer led the group at noon, and some athletic teams went together as a team to vote. For those who might have been anxious about voting for the first time, Patrick Sheils'19 and Tyler Baum'19 created a short video featuring the presidents of the Bates Republicans and Bates Democrats, who provided a virtual tour of the polling place and explained how things would work. Students roamed through Ladd Library and other parts of campus reminding people to vote. They even chalked the campus with messages such as "Voting is Sexy."
Bates President Clayton Spencer and Students from the Electoral Engagement Task Force
While many students were passionate about particular candidates and issues, the Get Out the Vote effort was non-partisan and entirely student driven , with support from the Harward Center for Community Partnerships. The message shared with the student body was, "We don't care where you vote or who you vote for; we just want you to vote!" Encouraging students to develop habits of electoral participation not only aligns with the Bates mission to "cultivate informed civic action," but it is also an essential building block of a thriving democracy.
With an eye toward inspiring widespread electoral engagement in the midterm election, strategizing began in September. Student leaders, including Community Liaisons from student clubs and athletic teams, met with staff from Student Affairs and the Harward Center to talk about putting together acampus wide, non-partisan effort to get students to vote. Voter registration training was offered to interested students, who then went back to their teams and student organizations to register others. Registration opportunities were offered during lunchtime every day in Commons. There was even a registration table at one of the football games, with the announcer reminding everyone that "Bobcats vote!" There were requests from many faculty members as well to have students come into their classes to pass out registration cards.
Throughout the fall semester, the Politics and Rhetoric Departments and the Environmental Studies program offered programming that considered different aspects of the election and issues that were on the ballot. Local, state, and federal candidates for office came to campus to meet students. In a show of bipartisan cooperation, which marked this election cycle on campus, the Bates Democrats and Republicans jointly sponsored the campus visit of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME). Many students were actively involved in working on campaigns, particularly with two Bates grads on the ballot, State Senator
Nate Libby (D-Lewiston) and Congressman-elect Jared Golden (D-2 ). Once again, a campus highlight was professor Stephanie Kelley-Romano 's course, Presidential Campaign Rhetoric, which engaged students in a semester-long mock election.
Bates also participated in many national non-partisan efforts this fall, including National Voter Registration Day, the ALL IN Challenge, and Tufts University's National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement. While we are proud of all the election activity on campus this fall, the high participation rate of our students in the electoral process, and being named to the Washington Monthly's list of Best Colleges for Student Voting, we are still waiting for the official tallies of voter participation.
A key component of the Bates experience is cultivating lifelong civic responsibility that is realized in many ways across time. Voting is a critical piece of this, and Harward Center staff enjoyed helping to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to participate fully in the electoral season, including considerations of where and how to register to vote, how to access non-partisan information in order to make informed decisions, and how to have civil and respectful conversations about political differences.
Peggy Rotundo is the Director, Strategic and Policy Initiatives, at the Harward Center, Bates College. She is also a former State Senator and member of the Maine House of Representatives.
Updates from a D4D Letters to an Elected Official Student Team
Pace D4D Team Fights Gun Violence
By Laurianne Gutierrez '21, Pace University
This fall, David Lê ('19) and I organized an anti-gun violence coalition at Pace University. We are focusing our efforts on overturning the Dickey Amendment, which prohibits the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from funding most research on gun violence.
After forming "Pace Against Gun Violence," or "PAGV," we spent the month of November spreading the word about our initiative and gathering petition signatures. Through frequent email correspondence with members of PAGV, I emphasized that it is crucial that we direct our efforts at connecting with fellow Pace students.
It was quite moving to see the level of enthusiasm that my fellow students expressed when signing our petition urging the repeal of the Dickey Amendment and addressed to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10).
I met with members of PAGV toward the end of November to discuss their experiences with obtaining petition signatures and to inquire about any difficulties. Many of them reported that the students they spoke with were impassioned and eager to see a future in which gun violence ceases to exist.
We recently held a tabling event in collaboration with the Center for Community Action & Research at Pace. Hundreds of students expressed their interest in our anti-gun violence initiative. After learning about the Dickey Amendment and its restrictions on gun violence research, they eagerly signed our petition.
David Lê and Laurianne Gutierrez wrote their Letter to an Elected Official to Senator Schumer urging the repeal of the Dickey Amendment.
About: The Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ Letters to an Elected Official
The competition engages students around public policy issues, the political process, and with their elected officials. The five winning teams receive awards to help them move their issue forward. The 2019 letters are due to Project Pericles Program Directors on January 30. Since this program began in 2008, we have received outstanding submissions from hundreds of student teams at our Periclean colleges and universities. Writing letters that clearly ask an elected official to take specific action is an effective way to assert civic power. In 2017, The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) released a report, Citizen-Centric Advocacy: The Untapped Power of Constituent Engagement. One of their major findings, based on nearly 1,200 responses from congressional staff, is that mass email campaigns are largely ineffective. With the rise of social media and mass email campaigns, congressional staffers are inundated with duplicate messages. A personalized, specific letter (or email) is far more powerful. For more information and to download the report, click here.
The 2019 D4D National Conference March 28 and 29
The Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ National Conference will take place on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29, 2019 at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. A highlight of the conference is the D4D Legislative Hearing , in which students present and defend their "Letter to an Elected Official" and the issues it discusses to a panel of judges including current and former government officials. On the second day, students will have an opportunity to visit a non-profit organization and meet with its senior leadership. Seventy student leaders from our member Periclean colleges and universities will be joined by college presidents, provosts, foundation, government, and community leaders for a two-day agenda of workshops and panel discussions.
The conference will feature Christopher Kush, CEO of Soapbox Consulting, who will facilitate an interactive workshop for students as part of the National Conference. Soapbox trains citizens to effectively communicate their issues to Congress, and to state and local officials. The workshop will provide an opportunity for students to practice skills and techniques for engaging elected officials and other decision-makers around issues the students are passionate about. Christopher led the D4D on the Road workshops for Project Pericles in 2008-2009 and 2012-2013 and presented a workshop at the 2017 D4D National Conference.
AAC&U Presentation Accepted
Our panel presentation "Creating Curricular Coherence: Three Examples of Institutional Change" has been accepted for AAC&U's 2019 Annual Meeting to be held January 23-26, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Presenting with Jan Liss, Executive Director, Project Pericles will be Frederick Knight, Chair, History Department; Director, General Education Department, Morehouse College; Paul Schadewald, Associate Director, Civic Engagement Center, Macalester College; Karin Trail-Johnson, Associate Dean, Institute for Global Citizenship; Director, Civic Engagement Center, Macalester College; and James (Jim) E. Vike, Professor of Political Science; MPA Program, Director, Widener University.
Higher education faces the challenge of creating efficient and cohesive educational experiences for students that integrate academic learning, civic engagement, and preparation for life after college. Project Pericles and three Periclean institutions are exploring distinct approaches to designing streamlined and integrative curricular pathways within majors, interdepartmental initiatives, and college-wide general education requirements.
Project Pericles to Present Multi-Campus Research Study on Well-Being with BTtoP at AAC&U
Jay Barth from Hendrix College will be presenting work from a Project Pericles study as part of a Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) panel, "The Well-Being Bridge: Connecting the Curriculum and Co-Curriculum through Holistic High-Impact Practices."
He will discuss insights from our multi-campus research project that looked at the ways in which incorporating civic engagement in the curricula influences the well-being of college students. We examined several high-impact practices including community-based learning and first-year seminars across four campuses (Bates College, Goucher College, Hendrix College, and Pitzer College).
This panel was organized by Ashley Finley, Senior Advisor to the President, AAC&U (formerly with BTtoP).
Reed College Hosts Fall Program Directors' Conference
The Project Pericles Program Directors' Conference was held October 23-24 at Reed College. Project Pericles is grateful to Acting President Hugh Porter, Dean of Faculty Nigel Nicholson, Dean for Institutional Diversity Mary James, Vice President for Student Services Mike Brody, Project Pericles Program Director Tara Sonali Miller, and the entire Reed College community for hosting a wonderful and very productive meeting. Program Directors from almost all of our member campuses attended.
At our Fall 2017 Program Directors' Conference at Chatham University, participants expressed interest in conducting a review of Project Pericles' programs. At Reed, The Program Directors' Working Group that was formed at the 2017 meeting discussed their findings from a survey and a series of interviews with fellow Program Directors. The Program Directors reported on an analysis of all of our programs...what to keep, what to add, and what to change. In addition to our programs, we discussed 1) culture, structure, collaboration, and values; and 2) special programs (practice and research); and ideas for the future. In addition, we had fascinating tours focusing on engaged work in the Portland Community and the Reed canyon, a 28-acre watershed and wildlife refuge in the heart of the campus.
We thank the members of the Working Group: Cass Freedland, Goucher College; Darby K. Ray, Bates College; Christian Rice, Ursinus College; Paul Schadewald, Macalester College; and Wilbur (Monty) Whitney, Morehouse College for all of their important work.
Pericleans in the News
Congressman-Elect Max Rose (D-NY-11) accepts students' invitation
By Bernadette Ludwig and Paul Norden ('21), Wagner College
Students in Professor Jessica Clark's Introduction to Social Welfare Practice all design a Social Action Project. This assignment consists of several parts, including writing a letter to an elected official to be considered for submission to the 2019 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ Letters to an Elected Official Competition, and a concrete action to be carried out by students.
One group of students (Jacqueline Kaminsky '19, Laura Kyvik '19, Mikaela Pritchett'19, Paul Norden '21, Emil Matti '21) wrote their letter to a congressman who had voted against the "Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act" that was proposed in Congress in June. The students outlined how the epidemic has affected our country and, especially, the borough of Staten Island.
For the "action" part of the assignment, students invited Congressman-Elect Max Rose (D-NY) to speak at Wagner to raise awareness about this topic in Staten Island. The issue was an important part of his campaign.
The students used their social networks to set up Rose's visit to Wagner on November 20th. The event was very well attended. A highlight of Rose's talk was the excitement he generated among the students from Staten Island, who were thrilled to meet someone for whom they had actually voted.
Elon Periclean Scholars Class of 2019 and Sarvodaya: Together Moving Forward
By The Elon Periclean Scholars
Throughout the semester, the Periclean Class of 2019 has been steadily working to complete various components of its project to facilitate economic empowerment for local craftswomen in Sri Lanka. This fall the Class created and updated portions of the Sarvodaya (the Class' community-based NGO partner) website; developed content related to ethical community tourism, cultural competency, and a newly established internship position with Sarvodaya; and updated Sarvodaya's marketing materials. In addition, they developed an assessment tool for community tourism experiences hosted by Sarvodaya that they will use during their winter-term trip to Sri Lanka.
In preparation for the winter trip, Dr. Mat Gendle, the M