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Buffalo State Participates in Campus and Community Civic Health Initiative

Buffalo State Participates in Campus and Community Civic Health Initiative

Posted: June 21, 2012

Buffalo State is among 25 colleges and universities selected to participate in the Campus and Community Civic Health Initiative hosted by the American Democracy Project (ADP) and the National Conference on Citizenship.

The two-year initiative aims to assess the civic health of the individual campuses and their surrounding communities. Participating campuses also will assess what areas of civic engagement need to be improved and devise a program to respond to those needs. It will serve as the signature program of the 10th anniversary of the ADP, and will provide insight into many facets of civic health.

The chosen colleges and universities span the country, from California State University in Los Angeles to Westfield State University in Massachusetts. The College at Brockport, State University of New York, is the only other SUNY school besides Buffalo State that is participating.

The possible reasons behind Buffalo State being selected include a history of working with the ADP, its new minor in urban education, and its service-learning program, according to Lawrence Flood, professor of political science, who is serving as the campus coordinator for the initiative. Flood assisted Mark Severson, dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, with the proposal.

The nationwide initiative launched June 7 with an inaugural Campus and Community Civic Health Initiative Summit at the ADP’s national meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Flood attended.

“They discussed several different models for measuring civic engagement,” he said. “There isn’t just one way to do this. Some schools will focus more on the health of their campus, others the community around it. We have to choose what is best for Buffalo State.”

Over the summer, Flood and Severson will put together a campus team composed of representatives across disciplines.

“This will not just be a project of the social sciences,” Flood said. “The project will involve faculty, staff, and students from all the schools.”

New initiatives at Buffalo State including the 2011 opening of the Community Academic Center, and its commitment to Year of the City for the upcoming academic year will fit nicely with the goal of increasing civic engagement, Flood said.

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