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Mission and Goals

The Civic Engagement Program at SOU works to create a society of active citizens by connecting the campus to community through service and engagement. The goals of our program are to:

  1. Engage students in direct service to communities and the environment;
  2. Improve student understanding, knowledge, and awareness about social and environmental justice issues;
  3. Equip students with skills and resources to be effective volunteers and leaders; and
  4. Facilitate community and campus partnerships in order to foster a campus culture dedicated to civic engagement and service

We host quarterly days of volunteer service open to all of the SOU community, organize SOU's annual Volunteer Fair, run the Governor's State Employee Food Drive every February, and support other ECOS programming including the Raider Alternative Breaks' short-term service-learning experiences.

The Civic Engagement Program is based out of the ECOS Sustainability Resource Center. Stop on by our office in SU 105 and say hello!

What We Do

Here at the Civic Engagement Program we lead a variety of annual and quarterly events and campaigns to engage students in community. We also love to collaborate and are always interested to hear ideas from SOU and community folks for how to better accomplish our mission!

Civic Engagement Newsletter

Need volunteers?  Whether it’s for an upcoming event or more regular volunteer opportunities, fill out our submission form and we’ll include it in our newsletter!

Annual Volunteer Fair

On October 18th, 2017 ECOS' Civic Engagement Program joining up with SOU Career Connections to host SOU's 3rd annual Volunteer Fair. Local and regional non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other groups will be in the Rogue River Room eager to share volunteer, practicum and internship opportunities with students. Join us and find out about what's going on in your local community to support social justice, the environment, arts, education, and health (and more!). Representatives from the US Peace Corps and AmeriCorps will also be available to talk about post-graduate service opportunities.

If you represent a community organization interested in tabling at our Volunteer Fair, please contact Jill Smedstad, Environmental and Community Engagement Coordinator at to find out how to register.

Governor's State Employee Food Drive

The Civic Engagement Program coordinates SOU's involvement in this annual state-wide food drive. We rely heavily on student and employee volunteers to run this food drive - contact if you would like to volunteer. Proceeds raised during this food drive benefit ACCESS, our local affiliate of the Oregon Food Bank Network, and all of the non-perishable food donated goes right on the shelves of SOU's Student Food Pantry located in the Commuter Food Pantry.

Quarterly Days of Service

The Civic Engagement Program coordinates at least one, if not more, one-day off-campus projects with community partners to engage the SOU community in volunteer service. In fall quarter we kick of the school year with an annual day of service with Mt. Ashland, and celebrate Make a Difference Day in late October. Winter quarter we host a variety of service opportunities and events around food insecurity in alightment with the Governor's State Employee Food Drive, and in spring we coordinate a variety of service projects that rotate depending on the year.

AmeriCorps VISTA Project

The SOU Civic Engagement Program hosts an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) "Campus and Community Engagement Specialist" through a partnership with Campus Compact of Oregon. The Campus and Community Engagement Specialist works to increase students’ educational success by improving SOU’s civic engagement activities and practices, and building capacity to reduce barriers to campus and community engagement. The VISTA member will be conducting needs assessments, researching best practices, and developing goals and recommendations for program improvements. In addition, the VISTA plans and implement high-quality volunteer projects to engage the SOU community in anti-poverty community service, and coordinates trainings and events to educate students around equity and social justice topics.

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