Office of Civic Engagement

Office of Civic Engagement

About the Office of Civic Engagement

The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) works with students, faculty, and staff at Cleveland State University to encourage citizenship and strong communities by building partnerships within CSU, with public, nonprofit community-based organizations, and governmental institutions. These partnerships enhance student learning by engaging students in civic, employment, experiential, leadership, and co-curricular involvement opportunities and experiences while contributing to the civic, academic, social, and economic well-being of Cleveland, its neighborhoods, and the Northeast Ohio region. The CSU Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) has a vast network of strategic civic and community partnerships. Each of our partners play a pivotal role in connecting and engaging CSU, our students, and the Greater Cleveland Community.

From one-time volunteer experiences for students to service-learning projects embedded in the curriculum to long-term collaborative partnerships that tackle the community's toughest challenges, the Office of Civic Engagement helps campus and community maximize the benefits of their interdependence.  

Recent News

Cleveland VOTES - Hiring a Summer Intern

Cleveland Votes

Cleveland VOTES, a young and rapidly growing organization, seeks an intern that is an entrepreneurial, resourceful, highly collaborative team player who possesses strong creative strategy skills and excels at managing a realistic balance among multiple priorities.


  • Engage and spend time with the organization’s Senior Strategist to understand Cleveland VOTES’ vision, mission and strategic priorities.
  • In collaboration with the Senior Strategist, the intern will learn and support implementation and planning tactics for our organization’s programming priorities as identified in our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.
  • Execute research asks and uncover insights to fuel the strategy process and support the crafting of strategic deliverables, both creative and analytical, in regards to the strategic plan.
  • Partner with the Communications + Narrative Strategist to enhance digital marketing capabilities, create graphics and proofread writing.
  • Provide support to the Civic Engagement Strategist through assisting in the planning and execution of programs designed to increase community awareness and providing administrative and analytic support.

How to Apply:

Please submit your cover letter detailing why you are the ideal candidate for this position, a resume and (3) professional references that may describe how your credentials align for this employment opportunity to by Friday, April 14, 2023.

Status + Internship Period:

Part-Time Intern, maximum 30 hours per week (Hybrid; we work remote on Monday/Friday and in the office Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). The internship term is June 6 - August 4, 2023.


Cleveland VOTES is fiscally sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association (GCNCA). The intern will receive $15 per hour, plus cell phone and wellness reimbursements. Please note, this is a part-time temporary position.

Learn more about the position here

OCE Vikes! VOTEView Voter Information from the Office of Civic Engagement





OCE Democracy Fellows Latinos Unidos Table

Voter Registration

We would like to help increase voter registration and turnout, especially in the Latino community. Join us on Monday, March 20, 2023 from 11:00am - 12:30pm on the 2nd floor of the Student Center to register to vote and learn about upcoming elections. Learn more. »




Dream Team: The OCE & CSU Men’s Basketball

CSU Mens Basketball Team Huddle OCE Anita Ruf Young with CSU Mascot MagnusOCE CSU Mens Basketball Team Selfie

OCE CSU Mens Basketball Team Slide Image from Greater Cleveland Food BankOCE with Members of CSU Mens Basketball Team OCE with Players Assistant Coach of Mens Basketball Team 

On Tuesday, January 24, 2023 The Office of Civic Engagement and the CSU Men’s Basketball Team teamed up to volunteer at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s new facility on Coit Road. Our day of service came at the request of Assistant Coach Travis Lewis, who approached OCE Director Anita Ruf-Young for assistance finding a volunteer opportunity for the team. Coach Lewis expressed this interest after our first successful activity with the team in October at our Civic Engagement: A Dialogue event with students and local leaders. Since that time, The OCE  provided the team with nonpartisan voting resources and walked to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections with the team. Some players even voted for the first time!
At the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, we participated in one of their repack shifts. This shift begins with assembling the boxes that will be filled through an assembly line where each teammate adds a particular food staple into the box. In the two hours we were there, we packed up 240 boxes of shelf stable foods filling 6 pallets that weighed 7,200 pounds. The OCE gives a HUGE shout out to the staff at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank! They made the work fun with their playlist of upbeat music, and we all appreciated their patience onboarding us as well as the efficiency with which they run these shifts.
Later that week, The OCE wanted to support this great team on their court next! We got to be their guests at the team’s game against Purdue Ft. Wayne on January 27th. The OCE was finally able to witness these young men and their coaches in their element and they did not disappoint. They played a fast paced game with an ultimate win of 79 to 74.
It was a great week to be a Vike!

We Are Hiring for the Spring 2023 Semester 

The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) has several community service-learning job opportunities available for CSU students. The job opportunities are through OCE's America Reads and Viking Corps (Federal Work Study) programs, pay $15/hour, and are located around the Cleveland area.

To apply do one of the following:
- Email Anita Ruf-Young at
- Fill out this Google form at https:
- Find Us at our recruitment tables:
Tuesday, 1/17 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 2nd floor Student Center Innerlink.
Wednesday, 1/18 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 1st floor Student Center Innerlink.
Tuesday, 1/24 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 2nd floor Student Center Innerlink. 
Tuesday, 1/31 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 2nd floor Student Center Innerlink.

CSU Students Interviewed about Youth Voting in the Midterm Elections

OCE student justin samsa with WEWS channelOCE with WEWS Channel 5 Outside Urban AffairsOCE with WEWS Channel 5 student Jackie Bomgardner

OCE Voting with WEWS News Channel 5 Interview of Reem AbumeriOCE Voting with WEWS Channel 5 Reporter DaLaun Dillard and studentsOCE Voting with WEWS Channel 5 Student Cole Middleton

On Wednesday, November 2, four CSU students were interviewed by WEWS - News Channel 5 about the importance of youth voting in the Midterm Elections. Cole Middleton, who also plays on the Men's Basketball Team, shared how his parents impressed upon him and his sister their responsibility to vote by mail in this election while away at school. Reem Abumeri is a daughter of two immigrants who emphasize that voting is a privilege that everyone worldwide does not have so to not take it for granted. Jackie Bomgardner warned that the youth voice becomes a minority when they don't vote. Lastly, Justin Samsa emphasized that lots of students seem to have strong opinions and need to vote to voice them. Not only are Cole, Reem, Jackie, and Justin civically engaged, but three of them are also connected to the community. Reem, Jackie, and Justin work as tutors in nearby schools and libraries through America Reads and Viking Corps also run by Anita Ruf-Young in the Office of Civic Engagement. The OCE is thrilled that WEWS - News Channel 5 Reporter, Dalaun Dillard, reached out to connect with CSU students to amplify their voices around the 2022 Midterm Election.

The Office of Civic Engagement Director, Anita Ruf-Young shared, "My office provides many ways for students to get involved civically from registering students to vote, to showing how to research candidates and ballot issues, to working for the Board of Elections on Election Day as poll workers and election night ballot box openers. I was pleased to learn from the Center for Information & Research of Civic Learning at Tufts University that the estimated participation rate for 18 - 29-year-old age group in the 2022 Midterms is 27%. That participation level makes this midterm the second-highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades." If students, faculty, or staff are interested in supporting this work, please email me at

Watch the WEWS - News Channel 5 interview:

Cleveland State University Recognized as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting

Most Engaged Campus Post 

Cleveland State University is one of 394 colleges and universities recognized for its efforts to increase nonpartisan democratic student engagement in the 2022 election.

Cleveland State University has been recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting. The ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting recognizes colleges and universities for making intentional efforts to increase student voter participation. Cleveland State University joins a group of 394 colleges and universities recognized by ALL IN for completing these four actions:

CSU President Dr. Laura Bloomberg remarked, “Cleveland State University and our Office of Civic Engagement are committed to providing our students with the information they need to become registered voters and active citizens. We stress to our students the importance of their participation in the voting process. CSU is honored to receive this recognition from ALL IN and proud that our students are voicing their opinions with their votes."

“The Office of Civic Engagement is honored to again have our nonpartisan democratic student engagement efforts recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The OCE works all year long to ensure our campus community is registered to vote and informed on local, state, and national voting issues. Our engagement is successful because we go beyond one off interactions. We are embedding civic engagement into the DNA of CSU by institutionalizing it in campus events and in the curriculum that reaches the desks of every first year student. Our work is made possible through our civic and academic allies such as Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Campus Vote Project, CSU’s First Year Experience program, the Michael Schwartz Library, our Athletics’ Department, and CSU President Dr. Laura Bloomberg,” said Anita Ruf-Young, Director, CSU’s Office of Civic Engagement. “Our annual submissions to receive these designations provides us opportunities to sharpen our Campus Democracy Action Plan to increase CSU student voter turnout. With 89% of our student body registered to vote, we look forward to receiving our Midterm 2022 Election data.”

For more information on the CSU Office of Civic Engagement, please visit our website,

The Office of Civic Engagement Partners with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to Help Fill a Critical Need for Election Night Ballot Box Openers on Tuesday, November 8th. 

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections would like to hire 125 CSU students to work as Election Night Ballot Box Openers on election night for $20 per hour | 4 hours of work.

This is a great opportunity to see Democracy in Action! It is a behind the scenes look at the election process! It is a great way for students to be civically engaged, earn some extra money while building their resume, networking, and representing Cleveland State University. 

Students will need a social security number to participate (for payroll purposes), be over 18, and cannot be a convicted felon.

Two CSU Winning Teams Joined Forces on Wednesday,  October 26th to Vote Early at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections!

  Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections

Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections  Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections

Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections Oce walk to the cuyahoga county of elections

CSU's Office of Civic Engagement and the Men's Basketball Team walked to the polls together to vote early last Wednesday. The event began with the OCE providing voting logistic information such as what types of valid IDs can be used to vote, how to find the issues on their ballot, and nonpartisan election resources that would help the young men feel more prepared as they entered the voting booth. For those that were not registered locally, the OCE provided detailed information on how to request their vote by mail applications and find their sample ballots as well. 

Director Anita Ruf-Young explained, "It is difficult to put into words how much I loved seeing the guys on the team casting a ballot for the first time. They will never forget this event because they had the support of my office, their coaches, each other, and Magnus. What a cool way to start a lifelong habit of voting!" 

The partnership the OCE has developed with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and the CSU's Men's Basketball Team is the definition of mutually beneficial! Assistant Coach Travis Lewis said, "Today was powerful. Thank you, Anita Ruf-Young and Connor (Director Basketball Operations) for making this event so special. A few of our players' lives are changed forever. You are awesome. The Men's Basketball program thanks you! Coach Robinson is grateful for your support and help with his vision to make our student athletes great leaders of the future." 

Next up! The OCE will be heading to the sidelines of the Wolstein to cheer this basketball team on to victory!

OCE Director, Anita Ruf-Young is featured in this Northeast Ohio Boomer article

Image 3161OCE Director, Anita Ruf-Young is featured in this Northeast Ohio Boomer article September/October 2022 about the relationsship between grandparents and grandchildren. Learn more. » 



Gabi Pridemore, former Office of Civic Engagement America Reads Tutor, is featured a Vindicator article

Gabi Pridemore, former Office of Civic Engagement America Reads Tutor, is featured a Vindicator article about her experience working for the OCE. Learn more. » 

Fall Semester 2022 OCE Voter Information Tables

The Office of Civic Engagement in partnership with NOVA will be hosting Voter Information Tables in the Washkewicz College of Engineering and College of Health to get CSU students vote ready by offering them the opportunity to apply to vote by mail, find their polling location, learn about nonpartisan and reliable sources for information about candidates and issues on your ballots, and a great Election Night Ballot Box Opener job for one-night that pays $15 per hour.
10-19, Wednesday, College of Health IM Atrium, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
10-27, Thursday, College of Health IM Atrium, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
10-31, Monday, College of Health IM Atrium, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
10-31, Monday, Washkewicz College of Engineering, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

The Office of Civic Engagement and League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland Present Civic Engagement: A Dialogue - Knowledge + Action = Power

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On Wednesday, October 5, 2022 the CSU Office of Civic Engagement and League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland hosted A Dialogue - Knowledge + Action = Power. This nonpartisan event gave students and other attendees the opportunity to discuss issues that are important to them in a safe space and focuses on how they can take their passion for an issue and turn it into action with the guidance of our local government official facilitators. 45 students and facilitators attended the event and discussed topics including reproductive health, transportation, education, housing, and healthcare.

For more information about this event also see OCE, LWV Partner for Nonpartisan Democracy Engagement event.

The Office of Civic Engagement is Partnering with the Michael Schwartz Library to Promote Civic and Voter Engagement 

Setting Reliable Voting Image

The OCE has partnered with the Michael Schwartz Library heading into the Midterm Election to bring nonpartisan, reliable voting information to CSU students! Check out MSL's Democracy 101 Guide and Voting Research Guide as you prepare to exercise your most important right, casting your ballot this November. 

Paid Civic Engagement Opportunity for CSU Students

The Cleveland Branch of the NAACP has partnered with the Office of Civic Engagement to recruit 10 CSU students to help execute 2 events. A stipend of $50 per event is offered. ($100 total). Learn more. »

National Voter Registration Day was an Amazing Day for the CSU Community!

Voter Registration ImageNRVD StudentsVoter Registration Image

Cleveland State University’s Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) held a successful National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on Tuesday, September 20 in several campus locations—the Student Center on the second floor on the Inner Link; Ronald Berkman Hall Atrium on the first floor; and the outdoor plaza between the Student Center, Berkman Hall, and Michael Schwartz Library. 44 voters were registered and 14 vote-by-mail forms were collected. CSU’s commitment to voter registration was demonstrated by CSU President Dr. Laura Bloomberg and Magnus T. Viking who joined the OCE Director Anita Ruf-Young to encourage voter registration.

OCE collaborated on this event with partners at Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates, Campus Vote Project, Democracy Fellows, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Cleveland NAACP, the Greater Cleveland League of Women Voters, Cleveland VOTES, and CSU’s Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. 

Learn more. »

The Office of Civic Engagement Earns CSU recognition among Washington Monthly’s “America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting.”
To make Washington Monthly’s student voting honor roll this year, universities had to submit 2020 and 2022 action plans to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Schools also needed to have signed up to receive data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which calculates college-specific registration and voting rates. They must also have made their 2018 and 2020 NSLVE data available to the public. In short, schools need to have shown a repeated commitment to increasing student voting—and have been transparent about the results. 

We Are Hiring!

The Office of Civic Engagement will be hiring several CSU students to work in Community Service Learning jobs through America Reads, Viking Corps, and as Democracy Fellows.

The Office of Civic Engagement Will Host Several Voter Registration Tables for Fall Semester 2022
OCE will be hosting several Voter Registration Tables across campus on between August 31 and October 3, 2022. Be sure to stop by if you need to register to vote, update your registration, or register to vote by mail.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (CCBOE) is one of Cleveland State University’s critical partners when it comes to civic engagement. The University’s Office of Civic Engagement on campus has been working with the CCBOE to better engage students and our campus community through supporting their work—particularly around the elections taking place each year.

To that end, the partnership is yielding another great opportunity for students. CCBOE needs Election Night Ballot Box Openers on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 for Election Night Processing. The four-hour guaranteed-pay job earns $15.00 per hour per student; 125 slots are available. 

Learn more. » 

Ways YOU Can Help the Citizens of Ukraine

More than 42,000 Ukrainians call Ohio home. More than 4,100 of them live in Parma, Ohio. If you are interested and able to help the citizens of Ukraine who are currently being impacted by the war, please check out the links in the PDF below. These organizations are assisting Ukrainians with food distribution, border reception and transportation, medical supplies, pet support, and the evacuation of children in this conflict area. There are Forty-four million citizens of Ukraine, to date, two million refugees have fled the country. One million of those refugees are children.

Learn more. » 

More news from the Office of Civic Engagement. »