Office of Civic Engagement

Director’s Message for Fall 2022

From the Desk of Director Anita A. Ruf-Young

Greetings and welcome back Vikes! The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) believes that encouraging active citizen engagement throughout our campus and beyond is something that must be fostered and encouraged each year. CSU is rooted in the heart of Cleveland and uses the motto Engaged Learning for good reason - CSU Students are engaged in this community through our programs Viking Corps, America Reads, and Democracy Fellows.

The OCE supports two main initiatives - civic engagement and community engagement. What that looks like is multifaceted. The civic engagement side of our office is most easily described as voter engagement. What people do not often know is that there is a federal mandate that requires all colleges and universities to provide their students with the opportunity to register to vote on campus. Our office does not stop there. We provide nonpartisan resources 365 days a year where CSU students are able to turn to for support in understanding just what democracy looks like in Cleveland, Ohio and beyond.

Our community engagement side places approximately 80 CSU students in tutoring positions throughout Cleveland and its neighboring suburbs. Students are placed at Cleveland Metropolitan School District sites including Teen Refugee Response and Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School, as well as libraries in Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. The students are paid up to $15 for their tutoring while providing vital support to high school students and elementary students in school and after-school programs. Regardless of tutoring placement location, CSU tutors provide consistent support for some of Northeast Ohio's most impoverished youth.

Fall and its ritual of “Back to School'' events brings a flurry of activities, and fall 2022 is no exception. Our recruitment and hiring of Viking Corps, America Reads, and

Democracy Fellows are in full swing with interviews happening left and right, in person, on zoom, and in good, old fashion conference calls!

We would be remiss if we did not mention all eyes on the Midterm Elections on Tuesday, November 8th. Next week, The OCE will host the 10th annual National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on campus. This Civic Holiday sets in motion the work of driving students to the polls. CSU actually has national standing in its voter registration rate as well as its student voting rate. We are at a whopping 89% of CSU students being registered to vote! That is up from 85.1% in 2018! President Bloomberg recognizes this achievement and has herself committed the CSU Campus to full, 100% participation. We too believe this 100% participation is possible when Vikes Vote!

Stay tuned for our next Director’s Message when we share our achievements in preparation for November’s election and stories of student and tutor engagement.

Wishing you an excellent Fall Semester!

Anita Ruf-Young, Director
The Office of Civic Engagement
See our archive of previous posts.