‘Civic Engagement: A Dialogue’ hosted in Steinbacher Atrium of CSU’s Glickman-Miller Hall, featuring robust panel of local officials
On Wednesday, October 5 at 4 p.m., the Cleveland State University Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) is presenting Civic Engagement: A Dialogue – Knowledge + Action = Power, a two-hour nonpartisan event in the Roberta Steinbacher Atrium of the Glickman-Miller Hall (Urban Affairs building).
In partnership with the League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland Chapter, this interactive panel discussion will give students and other attendees the opportunity to discuss issues that are important to them. The panel will focus on how to take passion for a particular issue and turn it into action—with the guidance of local government official facilitators, who will guide and moderate.
“With six weeks to go until the Midterm Elections, there’s really no better time to engage our students and campus community,” said Anita Ruf-Young, director of CSU’s Office of Civic Engagement.
The event features a robust panel of government officials, including Bradford J. Davy, Chief Strategy Officer, City of Cleveland; Brianna Zgodinski, Communication & Narrative Strategist, Cleveland VOTES; Kevin L. Bishop, Cleveland City Council, Ward 2; Kris Harsh, Cleveland City Council, Ward 13; Lique Gates, Senior Strategist, Cleveland VOTES; and Sunny M. Simon, Cleveland City Council, District 11.
“Beyond registering to vote, every issue on every level requires engagement to address them,” Ruf-Young added, highlighting the Engaged Learning aspect of “workshopping” embedded in the event.
“With every program we do, there’s an urgency to impress upon audiences that local government can often have more impact on our daily lives than the stuff that makes national news headlines,” she said.
“With this event, the wonderful resources on our panel will illustrate exactly that and hopefully inspire the audience to be more active in the democratic process beyond casting their all-important ballot and showing off their 'I Voted' sticker.”
Ruf-Young was quick to note that the event is “not an endorsement for any issue, candidate, or political party” and intended to be a safe-space event “to help participants identify actions they can take in support of issues important to them,” giving them tools necessary to engage with local government. Registration is required. Visit the OCE/LWV Civic Engagement event page to be a part of it.
Outside of the Civic Engagement: A Dialogue – Knowledge + Action = Power, Ruf-Young and the OCE registered several dozen Vikings during their last voter registration drive in the Student Center Atrium earlier this month.
Further, OCE will again partner with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Election Night. Election Night Ballot Box Openers/Processors are needed Tuesday, November 8, 2022 for Election Night. The four-hour guaranteed-pay job earns $15 per hour per student; 125+ slots will be available. Duties for the evening include transporting ballot boxes upon arrival to the processing and storage areas; transferring and organizing contents of a canvas ballot box to a cardboard ballot box and collecting miscellaneous items from the tables and delivering them to the appropriate work areas.
Election Night workers will also assist with unloading canvas bags off vans, in the Electronic Poll Book processing area and in the CCBOE Ballot Box Clean Out area. CSU first partnered with the CCBOE for the November 2021 election. Details for this student opportunity are coming soon; watch the Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) webpage in the coming days for further details.
Lastly, the OCE recently has partnered with Amanda Goodsett, librarian at the CSU Michael Schwartz Library, to put together a Democracy 101 research guide for the CSU community, along with a separate voting guide for the CSU community to utilize. These reference documents are free to access.
“We look at it this way: the more informed and involved our community is, the better,” finalized Ruf-Young. “Our office does not push agendas, candidates or platforms. Never have. We’re nonpartisan, we want all the questions answered—that means as many people involved in the process and drawing their own conclusions as possible. This happens by being informed and getting and staying engaged.”