Posts Tagged 'Ideas for Campus Programming'

2014 Important ADP Dates and Deadlines

Here are some important dates on our calendar for the upcoming year. What other civic engagement related events are on your calendar?





  • March 10: ADP/TDC National Meeting proposers notified





  • July 4: Independence Day



  • September 1: Labor Day
  • September 17: Constitution Day
  • September 29: Minnesota Regional ADP Meeting


AASCU & ADP on the Federal Government Shutdown

Gov't ClosedThe federal government shutdown is garnering a great deal of attention and outrage. Late last week, AASCU, along with five other national higher education associations, issued a joint community statement on the shutdown, calling for our campuses to treat it as a teachable moment and to encourage civic learning and engagement (see below).

AASCU’s American Democracy Project also sent out a query asking campus coordinators if they were utilizing the government shutdown for the purposes mentioned above and, if so, how they were doing it. Stephen F. Austin State University’s (Texas) Democracy Wall, a free speech area similar to the Democracy Plaza at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is dedicated to the shutdown this month. SUNY Buffalo State is engaging in classroom-based discussion of the shutdown vis a vis the private capture of public goods and Larry Diamond’s “Physician Heal Thyself” chapters from his 2009 book The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. And at Western Carolina University, the International Programs & Services office is making sure that students studying abroad or planning to go abroad are well aware of how passport, visas, embassies, and consulates are functioning in face of the shutdown.

Community Statement on Shutdown of the Federal Government

Muriel Howard HeadshotMy colleagues and I write as college and university leaders, concerned about the effect that the ongoing political paralysis in Washington is having on our country. The shutdown of federal agencies and the potential for default if the government’s borrowing limit is not raised are having a significant effect on the nation’s economy and many of our fellow citizens. This stalemate threatens to exacerbate the cynicism Americans already feel about the function and importance of their government.

This is a challenging time for our democratic process, a process which has served our country well for more than 200 years.

We are deeply concerned by the growing resignation of the American people to this “new normal”: the idea that Washington is so broken and dysfunctional that it cannot be fixed, only ignored or ridiculed. Our democratic government is most effective when it embraces open discourse, bipartisan cooperation and the art of compromise. These traditions have served us well since our founding, and are at the heart of the success of the American Experiment.

We believe this gradual acceptance of government dysfunction should be vigorously challenged and that each college and university can play a role in doing so. We call on colleges and universities around the country to bring together students, business and community leaders, and the public to engage in conversations and to be active engaged citizens. We should focus attention on the processes that ensure responsible government and sound budget policy.

Our nation was built upon the idea of a new form of government. Inherent in this promise is the idea of compromise and respect for the views of others. The belief in ideas and respect for conflicting viewpoints is also a core purpose of education. Together we can and must act to ensure the current stalemate in Washington is used to renew our students’ interest and commitment to democracy, rather than to discourage it.

We hope each of our institutions will make that possibility real for students and communities across the nation.

With warm regards,
Muriel A. Howard, Ph.D.
American Association of State Colleges and Universities

In cooperation with:

Walter G. Bumphus, President
American Association of Community Colleges

Molly Corbett Broad, President
American Council on Education

M. Peter McPherson, President
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

Hunter R. Rawlings III, President
Association of American Universities

David L. Warren, President
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

It’s Coming…Constitution Day 2013

On Tuesday, September 17, 2013, we will be celebrating Constitution Day, which commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by the 39 Founding Fathers on Sept. 17, 1787.

With the semester underway and the date rapidly approaching, we wanted to both remind you of the date and offer some resources that may be of use to you in your planning process.

  • More information can be found on our ADP page dedicated to Constitution day; to visit that page, click here.
  • Ideas for campus programming gleaned from years past can be found on our ADP blog; to visit the blog, click here.

ADP Campus Coordinators, please be on the lookout for a survey from ADP National later today  regarding your plans for this Constitution Day.

Important ADP Dates & Deadlines

Here are some important dates on our calendar for the upcoming academic year. What other civic engagement related events are on your calendar?










Celebrate Rosa Parks on National Day of Courage | February 4, 2013

National Day of Courage logo

Guest blog post by The Henry Ford

On Feb. 4, The Henry Ford is celebrating what would have been Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday with a National Day of Courage.

Mrs. Parks wasn’t looking to start a movement when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man on Dec. 1, 1955, but instead was acting upon a courageous response to her instincts. Mrs. Parks later said of that day, “When I made that decision, I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.”

In 2001 The Henry Ford became the home to Montgomery, Ala., bus No. 2857, the very bus that Mrs. Parks refused to give up her seat on. The bus has become a symbol for courage and strength as many believe Mrs. Parks’ actions that day sparked the American Civil Rights Movement.

Starting the National Day of Courage off is American Civil Rights activist and leader Julian Bond. In the 1960s, Mr. Bond founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and would later go on to serve as chairman of the NAACP. Joining him during the day are contributing Newsweek editor Eleanor Clift, Rosa Parks biographers Jeanne Theoharis and Douglas Brinkley, and author and Wayne State University Assistant Professor Danielle McGuire.

Thanks to our partners at Detroit Public Television, a live stream of the day’s events will be available to watch online on the National Day of Courage website. After the National Day of Courage, make sure to visit DPTV’s website for additional interviews and highlights.

We’re excited to announce that in addition to a day packed with activities, The Henry Ford will be dedicating the new Rosa Parks Forever stamp from the United States Postal Service.

Our celebration of Mrs. Parks and her courage isn’t just here in the museum. No matter where you are you can Rosa Parks Stampparticipate digitally as we share stories of hope and inspiration.

Online we’re asking individuals to post their messages of courage by sharing a digital Facebook badge. We even have a plain badge that you can download and write your own message on. If you do, make sure to take a picture of yourself wearing it and tag us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #dayofcourage.

While the special activities for the National Day of Courage happen for just one day, we’ll be sharing some of our significant Civil Rights artifacts all throughout the month of February. For the latest information on the National Day of Courage, make sure to visit our event page and website.

Campus Spotlight: UCO’s Constitution Week Programming 2012

University of Central Oklahoma: Constitution Week Programming: September 17-21, 28, 2012

By Mary Carver, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mass Communication and Leadership and Civic Engagement, Susan Scott, Ed.D., Professor of Educational Sciences, Foundations, and Research and American Democracy Project Student Organization Faculty Sponsor, and Emily Griffin Overocker, Director of Transfer Student Support and Co-Chair of the Naturalization Ceremony Committee

Constitution Week activities hosted by the American Democracy Project and Academic Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma included a variety of activities which involved students, faculty, staff and the Oklahoma City community. It was a memorable week in big and small ways.

UCO Voter Registration Contest

UCO Voter Registration Contest

On Constitution Day we kicked off a voter registration drive. Each year Oklahoma Campus Compact sponsors a voter registration contest for universities across the state. Schools compete to see who can register the highest percentage of voters, with awards given in the small, medium and large school divisions. Efforts throughout the campus resulted in the registration of 1060 voters, 7.9 percent of the student body.

Students, faculty and staff came together to promote and assist with the voter registration drive.  The UCO American Democracy Project coordinated with students in the Leadership and Civic Engagement course, Pi Sigma Alpha (the political science honor society), Success Central courses, U.S. history courses, the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, the Women’s Outreach Center, Alpha Phi Alpha and Greek Life, Max Chambers Library, University Relations, the Wellness Center, Central 360 student TV station, The Vista student newspaper, and student housing to make the week a success. Students, staff and faculty worked together across campus to ensure as many people as possible were reached. It was amazing to see so many different people in different departments, colleges and areas of campus come together to be involved in this one goal.

As UCO student, Jerrah explained, “Helping with the voter registration drive on UCO’s campus was an experience that enabled me to truly understand the impact of holding other students accountable for their civic involvement as citizens of such a blessed nation. The fact that we won shows how much UCO students care about their communities and the decisions that impact them: living Central means engaging in and caring about our communities and their leaders!” Our efforts paid off, as UCO won the Oklahoma Campus Compact voter registration contest large school division for a third year in a row. More importantly, a thousand more Oklahomans will be more likely to vote in November.

Constitution Week celebrations ended with 118 individuals from thirty-three countries taking the Oath of Allegiance at the University of Central Oklahoma. The event had multiple components, all designed to recognize and honor our newest citizens. Four federal judges, Chief Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Judge David L Russell, Judge Stephen P.Friot, and Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti from the US District Court, Western District of Oklahoma presided over the court. President Don Betz delivered a welcome that included the central role of civic engagement, global citizenship and responsibility, and the American Democracy Project on campus.

The Citizenship and Immigration Services presented the 118 applicants to the court for citizenship and Court Clerk Robert Dennis administered the Oath of Allegiance to their new country. In a moving show of allegiance, the applicants stood and recited the oath as it was written on their programs. To hear their voices as they renounced their former countries of origin could only cause pause to those of us who are born U.S. citizens as we contemplated the serious and life changing moment.

Students at the University of Central Oklahoma participated in the naturalization ceremony in several ways. Our ultimate goal was

US Courts, Western District of Oklahoma 2

US Courts, Western District of Oklahoma 2

to provide a transformative learning experience for our students, while honoring our new citizens through service learning. This was accomplished several ways. First a small Citizenship Fair was set up and information related to the students’ programs were provided to our new citizens and their families.

Two courses created projects for the new citizens. One course, a computer class, designed buttons for the new citizens to wear. The other course designed a personalized souvenir notecard and the students wrote welcome notes to each new citizen. Members of the class hand delivered the notecards. Corrie, one of the students who wrote a card said, “I hoped to make the new citizens feel welcome and accepted when they read our cards. I also wanted to show them that they should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

Finally, one of the UCO leadership courses volunteered to serve as hosts and helpers from the beginning to the end. They took great effort to serve the new citizens and their families in so many ways including helping them register to vote. They personally went to each new citizen and provided them with voter registration information. Their friendly faces helped the new citizens feel welcomed and honored. One student, Amber said, “It was so unique to see new citizens so excited about their citizenship and so thrilled to get to vote in this year’s election.”

Karla Dougherty, new citizen

The naturalization ceremony was well attended by the UCO community. Sarah, UCO student said, “Watching the ceremony made me feel really thankful that I was born in America, so I naturally have my citizenship.  I realized that so many people work very hard to become citizens of this country. I feel very blessed.”  (Watch ceremony here.) She goes on to share why she felt hosting a naturalization ceremony at our university is important, “Students at a university are learning, not only to expand their scholarly knowledge, but to expand their views on the world as well. The world is a very complex place with so many different types of people.  Seeing a naturalization ceremony is a good way to for students to witness the diversity that makes up our great country.”

As we prepared for the naturalization ceremony many of the students took time to understand the arduous and costly process. It also provided a time for self-reflection where one considered their own citizenship. At the same time, one new citizen, Aura, shared that the experience was professional and touching. She also went on to say that her new U. S. citizenship provides stability and a great place to raise her son. Those of us born in the United States and who attend UCO were given a rare glimpse of the journey to naturalized citizenship through the stories and faces of those who take on this quest. It was transformative, not only for the new citizens, but for those of us who participated in the naturalization ceremony with them.

To learn more about ADP at UCO, go here.

Campus Spotlight: Weber State’s Deliberative Democracy Day

By Leah Murray, Associate Professor, Political Science and Philosophy and ADP Campus Co-Coordinator, Weber State University

Weber State University, located in Ogden, Utah, is a comprehensive public University that serves a dual mission – as an open-enrollment community college for Northern Utah as well as a regional university offering a full range of baccalaureate and masters degrees. The Academic Affairs and Student Affairs divisions at Weber State University co-manage the American Democracy Project, which reflects a larger institutional commitment to a strong division partnership. Weber State University’s Deliberative Democracy Day is one model of that management, although we run all of our programming in this manner.

In 2009, Weber State University hosted its first Deliberative Democracy Day. The process begins in student government when student senators choose a topic they would like to deliberate. Each of the four times we have hosted Deliberative Democracy Day, the students chose a difficult topic: immigration reform, education access, health care reform and gay marriage. Once a topic is selected, a committee of faculty experts in the field is convened to plan the day. The committee, in conversation with students, chooses a slate of panelists who will come and be available to answer questions from students. The committee also creates a list of interesting questions that students will discuss before hearing from the panel. A number of students are trained as focus group leaders and they facilitate conversation about the topic. On the day, students arrive planning to spend four to five hours together engaged in intense deliberation about an important political issue. This deliberation begins with focus groups and ends with asking questions of the expert panel.

Faculty discuss same-sex marriage and its possible effects on democracy during Weber State University’s Deliberative Democracy Day.

This past year, the students chose gay marriage, which in Utah is banned. Student senators wanted to discuss the effects of gay marriage on society. Previous to the day, we surveyed students for their opinions and then we surveyed students who attended Deliberative Democracy Day. We examined the difference between the students who attended Deliberative Democracy Day and the general student population. Due to respondent identification issues, we cannot claim student opinion change, but we can claim a difference between the groups. As you see from Figure 1 below, students who attended the Deliberative Democracy day indicated a more favorable attitude toward same sex marriage than by students who did not attend.

Another feature of Deliberative Democracy Day is that an upper division Community-Based Learning political science methods course collaborated with the American Democracy Project to study the survey results and presented the research at an end of year symposium. As a result, information from our Deliberative Democracy Day was disseminated to a wider University audience while also serving to train political science majors.

Our student senators are currently debating the topic for 2013. Once they choose, we will begin the process. We also plan on resolving our respondent identification issues so we can demonstrate student opinion change on this year’s topic as a result of participating in Deliberative Democracy Day.

Figure 1. Do you think allowing same sex marriage will change our society for the better, it will have no effect, or for the worse?

Read more about Weber’s 2012 Deliberative Democracy Day here.

Learn more about ADP at Weber State University here.

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