Last Tuesday, President Roth announced a new Student Political Engagement Fund in an all-campus email. Through the Jewett Center for Community Partnership (JCCP), students doing political volunteer work during fall break, locally or at home, are eligible for awards of up to $500.
“A pragmatic liberal education at Wesleyan should enable many forms of participation in public life,” the email reads. “With these new micro-grants, we are hoping to encourage those who want to use their fall break to participate in this vital electoral season.”
This initiative is in line with the University’s Civic Action Plan, which emphasizes civic participation and the importance of the development of students’ political educations.
Director of the JCCP Clifton Watson pointed to the University’s sustained dedication to civic engagement as the motivation behind this new fund.
“The university has a long history of being committed to providing opportunities for students to engage the public sphere…which is key in developing the practical skills and broad perspective necessary to have an impactful civic life,” Watson wrote in an email to The Argus. “The intention of the fund is to encourage and support student engagement in the electoral process.”
In an email to The Argus, President Roth added that the University’s core values render such funds particularly important.
“The upcoming elections are critical for our country, and we wanted to provide these modest grants to enable students to work on campaigns during fall break,” he wrote. “Developing civic preparedness is core to Wesleyan’s educational mission, and this is an opportunity for students to learn through engagement. I hope this initiative encourages students—no matter their political leanings—to engage with political contests in districts here in Connecticut or elsewhere in the country.”
Applications for funding, due on Oct. 8, require details on where and how students intend to volunteer as well as an estimated budget. After fall break, students will be expected to submit verification of their work and a report for the ENGAGE blog.
Noa Street-Sachs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.