2013-14 University Theme - Civic Action: Meeting the Challenge

The 2013/14 University Theme, Civic Action: Meeting the Challenge of Improving our World, is premised on the belief that “improving our world” requires both an acceptance of social responsibility and an active participation in meeting the challenges of a modern society. This responsibility is borne out through political activity, community service, engagement in leadership roles, advocacy and becoming informed on issues that relate to social change.  The 2013/14 University Theme will promote and celebrate these aspects of civic action.

During the fall semester, activities will focus on motivating students to take civic action on issues that are important to them and on giving them the tools they need to build effective action plans. Throughout the spring semester, students will work to carry out their action plans with help and coaching from their fellow students and the faculty and staff. We will host a celebration event towards the end of the semester to showcase what has been accomplished and reflect on the effectiveness of the action plans and projects.

Events and activities planned for the year so far include the following. Check back during the semester to see added events/activities. 

  1. Theme Kick-off [Tuesday, September 10]
    • Paul Loeb - Paul Loeb has spent over thirty years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment--asking what makes some people choose lives of social commitment, while others abstain. Paul's newly updated book, SOUL OF A CITIZEN: LIVING WITH CONVICTION IN A CYNICAL TIME (St Martin's Press), looks at what it takes to lead lives of social commitment despite all the obstacles.
    • Activism Jam - Outside BBQ with music, community booths and Democracy Wall celebrating the power of civic action.
  2. Curriculum Grants
  3. Community Action Organizing Workshop
    • A faculty-community workshop will be offered to help connect faculty with community organizations and design relevant curricula projects together.
  4. CLASP Lecture Series
    • The series will be held in the fall and spring semesters.
  5. Campus Camp Wellstone
    • Camp Wellstone offers a 1½ day nonpartisan, grassroots organizer training program designed for college students and young people. [http://www.wellstone.org/programs/campus-camp-wellstone]
    • Tentative Dates: Evening of October 21; all day October 22, University Improvement Day
  6. Peace Corps Panel
    • Presentation and panel discussion about this program.
  7. Film Festival
    • Working with Frozen River Film Festival, students will showcase films of student activism
  8. WELL ’14 conference
    • The second annual WELL conference.
  9. Peaceful Uprising event – to coincide with Frozen River Film Festival
    • Tim DeChristopher (of Bidder-70) and the leader of the Peaceful Uprising (http://www.peacefuluprising.org/) climate justice activist group will be coming to Winona with the FRFF. The Sustainability committee will plan an activist event with them.
  10. Common Book
    • Barry Estabrook’s Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.
    • Estabrook is tentatively scheduled to visit WSU this fall on October 14-15, 2013. The spring visit is TBD.
    • Common Book website.
  11. Lyceum Series
    • Tuesday, September 10: Author Paul Loeb
    • Thursday, November 7: Ensemble Galilei "First Person Seeing America" - multi media performance
    • Thursday, April 3: Author Robert Self