Common Cause Writing Competition on defining a “Gerrymander Standard”


Common Cause is pleased to announce its inaugural “Gerrymander Standard” Writing Competition. The U.S. Supreme Court has long suggested there is a limit for what is acceptable partisan gerrymandering, but like obscenity, so far the line is undefined and left to courts to know it when they see it. The Court has said that it is willing to hear constitutional challenges to partisan gerrymandering, but existing legal theories have been insufficient to empower citizens with the tools they need to overturn partisan gerrymanders in court. This is your chance to change that.

Common Cause invites legal and social science practitioners, scholars, and students to submit papers proposing a new definition of partisan gerrymandering or further developing an existing standard. Winning papers will be selected by a distinguished panel of former State Supreme Court Justices, litigators, and election scholars.

Prizes will be as follows:

  • 1st place – $5,000
  • 2nd place – $3,000
  • 3rd place – $2,000

The top entries will also be published in Election Law Journal, the leading academic publication in the elections field. Common Cause will cover expenses for winners to travel to Washington, DC in the fall of 2015 to present their papers.

How to Submit a Paper
Please review the 2015 “Gerrymander Standard” Writing Competition Submission Requirements before submitting your entry. Submissions must be sent to by Friday, February 27. Do not include any information identifying yourself in the paper. Include your name, phone number, and address only in the body of the cover email. Feel free to email us at with any questions.

Flyer about this writing competition.





What’s New with ADP? October 2014 Edition


  • #ADPTDC15 will be held in New Orleans, La., June 4-6, 2015


Addressing Campus Sexual Assault: AASCU’s Partnership with Culture of Respect

AASCU President Muriel Howard sent a message to AASCU Presidents describing a new AASCU partnership with an organization called Culture of Respect. This organization, which was founded by a group of concerned parents, is an independent, nonprofit organization. We believe this is an opportunity to effect change through a collaborative and transformative process, one that provides resources to all involved in campus sexual assault response and prevention. Read more here.



Civic Science and the Grand Challenges of the 21st Century
The “Civic Science” field emerges out of an initiative of the American Commonwealth Partnership, which in turn spun out of ADP’s Civic Agency initiative with Harry Boyte and the Center for Democratic Citizenship. Civic science, developed over a number of years, is a mode of inquiry and action which integrates scientific approaches and other ways of knowing with civic agency and democratic practices. It seeks to address “grand challenges” like climate, health, early childhood education, and sustainable agriculture while simultaneously deepening democracy. Read more here.

100 AASCU and NASPA Member Institutions Partner with TurboVote

In September, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education announced that 100 member institutions have adopted TurboVote, an innovative “one-stop-shop” voter engagement platform, thanks to a partnership between two higher education associations and the nonpartisan nonprofit technology organization, Democracy Works. Read more here.

Constitution Day 2014

Every year American Democracy Project campuses across the country celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. Constitution Day falls on September 17th each year, and this year we are celebrating the 227th anniversary of the document’s signing. Read more about campuses’ celebrations here.

ADP Schools Commemorate 9/11

ADP schools across the country are commemorating the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Read more here.

Campus Spotlights:

  • Community Engagement at the University of Alaska Anchorage This campus spotlight feature’s the University of Alaska Anchorage’s CCEL or Center for Community Engagement & Learning. CCEL “serves as the intersection of student learning, faculty research and creative activity, and community engagement.  Our mission is to connect academic programs with community needs to use scholarship and action for the mutual benefit of the University and the State, its communities, and its diverse people.” Read more here.
  • Georgia College Teach-In: Events in Ferguson, Missouri A standing room only crowd of nearly 150 students, faculty, staff, and community citizens attended a teach-in at Georgia College that addressed the events in Ferguson, MO and the related issues of race, class, and inequity in American society. Read more here.
  • UMBC’s New Kiva U. Chapter: Microlending for Social Impact Thanks to a grant from OneMain Financial, UMBC will join Loyola University in launching the first two formally designated Kiva University chapters in Maryland. Kiva U seeks to engage students and educators in a global effort to expand financial inclusion, foster community, and have a tangible positive impact on issues that matter to them. Read more here.

ADP in the News: Brush up on what’s been happening on ADP campuses.

 What We’re Reading

 Partners & Friends


November 4:  Election Day
November 6 & 7: Global Challenges Institute (Richard Stockton College of New Jersey)

ADP/TDC Webinar: Advancing Civic Learning in Online and Virtual Spaces

Advancing Civic Learning in Online and Virtual Spaces: A Webinar
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. EST
Eric Hartman, Brandon Kliewer and Chance Lee
Kansas State University


Next week, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. EST, AASCU’s American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment have teamed up with the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University to offer a special webinar to our member institutions.

Advancing Civic Learning in Online and Virtual Spaces will be an interactive and participant-led webinar and learning experience related to designing online and virtual courses that include an academic service-learning component.

Brandon Kliewer, assistant professor of civic leadership at KSU, is the 2013 recipient of ADP’s Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement. Eric Hartman is an assistant professor and Chance Lee is an instructor. All three facilitators all are from the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University.

Participants will develop their thinking around how to systematically design online and virtual courses that include academic service-learning that maximizes student learning. Although the course design process is relevant to a range of disciplinary and topical learning outcomes, this session will focus on dimensions of intercultural competence. As a result of this webinar, participants will be able to design online and virtual courses and programs that advance intercultural competence.

To register for the webinar, please sign-up via this Google Doc:
To join the meeting on October 28th, click this AdobeConnect link:
For meeting audio, dial 1-866-642-1665 and enter 499385 as the participant code.

2014 New York Life Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards

Washington Center

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an independent nonprofit educational organization, proudly celebrates the recipients of the 2014 New York Life Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards.  The award recognizes institutions that are achieving breadth and depth of civic engagement through sustained and mutually transformational partnerships that define and address issues of public concern at any level from the local to the global.

This year’s honorees include three AASCU/ADP campuses: California State University at Fullerton, Georgia College & State University  and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  The awards were presented on Monday, September 29th, at The Washington Center’s annual Awards Luncheon at the National Press Club.

The 2014 New York Life Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards are sponsored by the New York Life Foundation.  The recipients will receive $20,000 in scholarship funding to help their students participate in The Washington Center’s Academic Internship Program in the nation’s capital during the following year.

NSF’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering

A new biannual report to Congress of the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) that advises the National Science Foundation recommends that:

  • “NSF should implement a bold new initiative, focused on broadening participation of underrepresented groups in STEM that emphasizes institutional transformation and system change….”

The report explicitly calls, in effect, for a stewards of place (anchor institution) approach, involving higher education-school-community partnerships as a means for broadening participation for all groups across all levels of schooling:

  • “This initiative might include several multisite, geographically-based, national experiments of foundational and implementation research involving universities, schools, and communities. The ongoing research experiments would be inclusive of all underrepresented populations and would be designed to significantly advance broadening participation across all levels of schooling, resulting in sustainable pathways preK-20+.”

Below are the links to the cover letter from the full committee as well as the summary of its recommendations:

Webinar: Using Project Interfaith’s RavelUnravel in your Community or on your Campus

Using Project Interfaith’s RavelUnravel in your Community or on your Campus
A Google Hangout | Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at Noon Eastern

Join Project Interfaith and friends on a Google Hangout to explore how is a resource for your campus and community. We’ll hear from people who have used RavelUnravel campaigns in their own context to build understanding and relationships between people of different faiths, beliefs, and cultures. Learn how you can use to collect and display stories for your group, organization, or cause.

You don’t need to have used or experienced before – and you’ll have a chance to share your questions and ideas with our presenters, Katie Gordon, A. David Lewis, and Cesar Roman. Join the conversation on Twitter: #RavelUnravel and @ProjectIntrf8th.

For further information and to register, click here!
Contact Sean Rose, Training and Outreach Associate, for further information: 

Check out the RavelUnravel Curriculum and Project Interfaith’s Conversation Kits. Available now!

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