Civic Engagement for Student Organizations

Student organizations are a great place to engage your members in civic engagement work that relates to the mission of your organization, your intended career fields, and the communities you're a part of. Explore below to learn more about specific ways you and your organizations can become more civically minded.

Getting More Involved!

As a student or student organization, I want to become more civically engaged! What opportunities are available to me and my student organization?

  • Join the CSL Community Advocates 

  • Become a member of Dole Institute Student Advisory Board 

  • Work to create a service chair for your organization for the next election cycle and constitution update

  • Contact SILC or the Center for Service Learning to have a member of our teams speak individually to your organization about your organization's specific interest areas


Tips for Getting Started!

  • In the same way we share about upcoming events on campus for our other organizations or departments, it’s impactful to also highlight what’s going on in our communities that can affect our organization or its members 
    • Here are some ideas on how to incorporate announcements into your organizations: 
      • Have students share out current events relating to KU/Lawrence, Kansas, Nationally, Internationally 
    • Mention upcoming service opportunities on campus or in the area 
      • Read through various office’s newsletter or websites for the most updated information 
    • Have a member review recent legislative updates on legislation regarding KU/Lawrence, Kansas, Nationally that connects to your organization’s mission or purpose 
  • Implementing just one of these strategies helps create conversation about the impact of the community on your organization, and can help your members look beyond the scope of campus and understand the extent of the reach you have with your efforts! 
  • Your organization serves as large body of agency for your members. Building up a community of students who support each other and commit to learning more about your organizations’ actions and purpose in regards to the community and nationwide efforts is a great way to make a positive impact on KU and beyond. 
    • Ways your organization can work together to have your thoughts and concerns heard 
      • Gather in support of an event or group of individuals 
      • Write letters to the Administration, University, Department, Student Senate, etc. on behalf of your thoughts as an organization and the changes you wish to see 
      • Discuss current events & include the context of your organization 
      • Share the work you are doing in your organizations and connect online with campus and local organizations 
  • Elections allow students to have a say in who leads them next and holding fair elections should not be taken lightly. The responsibility held by students in these roles varies, but understanding the impact that they may have on your community or support space should be well considered when selecting who will take on leadership for the upcoming term. 
  • First time a student engages in a democratic process and maintaining the integrity of that experience is incredibly important in building up the civic mindedness of our university community and acting on behalf of our values as a university. 
  • Contact SILC for more tips on how to manage your organizations elections & transitions! 
  • Volunteering as an organization provides a direct connection to one’s community and allows for first-person experience engaging in KU’s and your organizations dedication to service of the community. 
  • Contact CSL for opportunities and organizations you can build relationships with! 

Upcoming Workshops

Helpful Policies & Contacts

Visit the KU Policy Library for all university related policies. We've attached some specific policies that may relate to your organization's efforts here:

Visit the KU University Governance website to learn more about each governing body's functions and the best point of contact for your questions, concerns, and ideas!

KU has many additional individuals and resources you can use to further your actions and share your experiences with the campus community.

  • Advisors 
    • Your organization advisors, as heavily university connected individuals, they may have personal relationships with other individual inside KU and in our communities who you can connect with  
  • Professors 
    • Professors have large networks of individuals within the department your organization associates itself with. They may have also strong connections to others in the field or professional associations that match your organization's purpose or are related adjacently to the work you are doing.
  • Departments 
    • Sharing your experiences & connecting with on-campus departments can help you build change in partnership with the university and gain access to KU members who want to help your cause.
  • KU Divisions (Student Life, Academic Success, etc.) 
    • Much like departments, these large bodies of university connected individuals have relationships that can assist your organization in meeting those who share your desire for change and increased civic engagement.
  • Housing (RA, ACD, CD, etc.)
    • If you currently reside on-campus, your residence hall or apartment housing staff members also have contacts and relationship to other parts of the university and could serve as a great first contact to university affiliated individuals that can assist your organization meet others.

Contact SILC and CSL

The Student Involvement and Leadership Center and the Center for Service learning are committed to assisting our students engage civically within your student organizations and the greater campus community. Contact us for any questions!