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Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy

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Our mission is to build community capacity for informed, engaged, civil deliberation.
Our vision is stronger democracy through enhanced public deliberation.

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Kansas State University 
Manhattan, KS 66506 
785-532-6808 (fax)

2020 Community Engagement Symposium   Student Success and the Public Good

March 23-24, 2020  |  K-State Alumni Center




Kansas State University’s 2020 Community Engagement Symposium focuses on student success through community engagement.  Engagement with off-campus community projects offers practical opportunities for students to enhance their skills and learn about issues that make a difference to diverse populations and sectors.  Further, community engagement enriches students’ academic experiences by featuring research on significant societal issues and participatory practices in their curriculum.

Institutions of higher learning are increasingly engaging in partnership with communities to address critical societal challenges.  Colleges and universities are aligning their resources – organizational structures, funding, faculty and staff knowledge and expertise, and student learning – with the needs of the communities that surround them.  Enabling students to be at the forefront of these trends is the goal of this conference.

We invite you to join us! 

NSLVE Report on K-State Student Voting 2014, 2018 is released!

The NSLVE report comparing K-State student election participation between 2014 and 2018 shows a 20.4% increase in voting, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement at Tufts University.  "We're thrilled to see the numbers, but they show we have a lot to do to prepare for this November, not to mention 2020," says Donna Schenck-Hamlin,  Program Manager for ICDD.  K-State students turned out to vote at a rate of 36% in 2018, but their voter registration rate was a much more impressive 76.2%.  Part of that surge may have been due to the joint work of a team from the Student Governing Association (SGA), Housing and Dining Services, Staley School of Leadership Studies, and off-campus organizations including Loud Light and League of Women Voters.  Hayley Spellman, last year's SGA Chair for the Governmental Relations Committee, coordinated a campus-wide strategy to get students registered and to the polls. For many on-campus students, that meant an excursion to the fire station on Denison Avenue.  Others fanned out across the town to off-campus polling places, or mailed advance ballots to other counties where they had registered. K-State is one of over 1,000 colleges and universities helping NSLVE track election participation and civic engagement in the United States.

4-H Youth Train for National Issues Forum Leadership

Aliah Mestrovich Seay and Donna Schenck-Hamlin were joined September 21 by twenty-five 4-H youth and adult leaders to practice facilitation for an up-coming National Issues Forums deliberation October 26. The youth, aging in range from twelve to eighteen, focused on what characterizes a deliberative forum as a form of public conversation, and what skills facilitators demonstrate to help other participants.  "We didn't have to tell these folks what deliberation is NOT," commented Schenck-Hamlin at the conclusion.  "They got it immediately when we offered a set of examples and counter-examples.  They know they're aiming for the best qualities, from themselves and from others who come, to make deliberation real."   Mestrovich Seay inaugurated the 4-H Community Conversations series by training youth leaders at a “Conversation Bootcamp” in Rock Springs 4-H Center last summer.  There the youth leaders voted to organize a public discussion using the National Issues Forums guide “How Do We Prevent Mass Shootings in our Communities?