College students… get out the vote!

On September 26th at 3 PM EDT, Campus Vote Project <> will be hosting a virtual Town Hall focused on getting college students out to vote this November. Using Google Hangouts, the Campus Vote Project will be moderating a panel that will include Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and other student voting advocates, and taking questions via Twitter and Facebook. The focus will be on strategies that election officials, college administrators, and student organizations have taken to help students register and vote. We will hear directly officials that have dealt directly with problems that students have encountered in their college communities and how to overcome those obstacles.

The sign-up page for the event is now live and can be accessed via:

We encourage you to promote this on your blog, Facebook page, and on Twitter. The event will be using the Twitter hashtag #CVPTownHall which is also how they will be accepting questions during the town hall.


President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge

The White House will again be hosting the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge. To join the Challenge, campuses are required to submit an interfaith service plan by October 15th. More details here.

An email was sent today (below) announcing upcoming webinars.


Dear Campus Challenge Campus Lead,

I am excited that you are all working on preparing plans for participation in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Reports on your plans are due October 15.

To assist you in this process we have planned four webinars. I want to get these dates to you so you can plan on participating. As the dates approach we will send specific information about how to join the webinars.

August 15th 2:00 pm EDT

Funding Interfaith/community Service work

Developing plans so that funding doesn’t drive program. Finding and using institutional resources. Looking for grants and outside finding.

August 30th 2:00 pm EDT

Developing strong community service programs that include interfaith

What are the characteristics of a strong community service program?  What tools are available to incorporating interfaith?

September 12 2:00 pm EDT

“Nuts and bolts” of the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge

How to become involved in the Challenge. What is expected. What are the possibilities. What are your questions as you look forward to submitting a report on your plan on October 15.

September 25th 2:00 PM EDT

Share your story (tips and best practices)

Letting the campus know what you do. Stories for the media. How to share your story with the White House.

If you have questions or suggestions please contact me at

Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, Director
Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Center
U.S. Department of Education

Portland State’s Social Sustainability Colloquium

More of a Good Thing: Institutionalizing Healthy Democracy in Oregon and Exporting It to Other States And what problems could we solve using this process that unlocks the expertise in all of us?

Get an update on the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) in Oregon and Healthy Democracy Oregon‘s efforts to help grow the effort in other Western states. Check out the new Healthy Democracy Fund website for a lot of the current activities and info on the history of the CIR project in Oregon.
Friday, April 13, 2-4pm
Location: Portland State ASRC 660, (Rec Center Bldg)

For more information on future events join the Social Sustainability listserv here and link to the upcoming schedule for PSU’s Friday Social Sustainability Colloquium.

News Clippings – Week of April 2

Here’s your roundup of clippings from the past week. With commencement around the corner, schools are mobilizing students to serve one last time before summer break. Check out how they’re pairing classrooms with communities!

Concordia: Students Provide Tax Assistance
Accounting students assist more than 135 local residents with free tax advice and filing of returns. “Getting practice filing taxes and working on relationships with customers is a big part of the accounting profession and this experience has been great for both of those,” said senior accounting student Russ Canham. “It’s been really interesting and helpful to sit down and talk with a wide range of people and see all of their different needs.”

George Fox University: Mission Trip to Papua New Guinea Inspires Playwrights
George Fox presents an original play “The Broken” as its spring drama. A single image of barbwire barriers used to separate Papuan classes inspired the creation by Director Rhett Luedtke and his students. Luedtke said the image triggered complicated questions, “why the fences, the guns and the disparity between the “haves” and “have nots”? And how does faith and religion help or hinder the situation?”

Linn-Benton Community College: Partnering Skills to Serve

Theresa Griffith, a student at Linn-Benton Community College is using her passion for music to help autistic children. Through work with medical leaders and families with autistic children, she’s created therapeutic musical CDs that ease stress and build self-esteem. “The feedback from doctors and parents has been very gratifying,” Griffith said. “There is evidence that it helps relieve pain… and lets the body heal at peak performance levels.”

Marylhurst: Marylhurst Jumps into Service Mode with Pam Leibrant
Marylhurst welcomes spring by serving the community. ORCC AmeriCorps Member, Pam Leibrant has organized a month of service events that are focused on access to health and wellness. Check out how she’s mobilizing the campus, raising awareness, and building a culture of service on campus.

Portland State University: Faculty Member Dedicates Career to Community
Associate professor of architecture at PSU, Sergio Palleroni uses design to empower impoverished communities around the world. “From the beginning,” he says, “I’ve been less interested in what a building looks like than how it serves the people I’m working for,” he says. Today Dr. Palleroni, co-founder of Building Sustainable Communities (BaSic), continues to co-create educational centers for undeserved populations with more than 20 higher education institutions and organizations around the world.

Pacific University: City in Nicaragua Honors Students for Providing Care to their Citizens
The City of Granada, Nicaragua has honored students, faculty and staff from Pacific University’s College of Health Professions (CHP) for promoting the health and wellness of elder citizens in the country. Granada mayor Eulogio Mejia Marenco presented the award to this year’s Friends of Nicaragua contingent during the group’s visit to provide needed care to citizens of the Western Hemisphere’s second-poorest nation.

Willamette: Students Earn Udall Scholarship for Helping the Environment
Recognized for their commitment to the environment, two Willamette students earned honors from the Udall scholarship committee. These students have also demonstrated commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 for school expenses, and it connects recipients with other students who are committed to change.

Campus Vote!

Campus Vote Project Toolkit

The Campus Vote Project, launched in 2012, is a campaign to help college students work with administrators and local election officials to make the process of voting easier and overcome barriers students often face to voting that students often mention such as residency laws, registration deadlines, and strict voter ID requirements. Every campaign needs a plan, so start building yours! Download the Campus Vote Project Toolkit:

Oregon Schools Present Solutions to Clean Energy

Through a partnership with Focus the Nation, Columbia Gorge Community College, University of Portland, and the University of Oregon are inspiring innovative solutions for clean energy. These campuses are hosting Forums-to-Action, a program that empowers student leaders to organize their campus and community to discuss, develop, and implement sustainable energy practices.
The projects: 
Columbia Gorge Community College
This project is working to develop an educational community renewable park, a facility to harness solar energy and teach the campus and community about clean energy. The project will benefit the campus and community by providing students in the Renewable Energy Technology program hands on experience with emerging technologies while reducing The Dalles reliance on non-renewable resources and engaging the community. Learn more.
University of Portland
The Biodiesel Club is turning waste-oil from campus food services into biodiesel. The fuel being generated is used in grounds keeping vehicles on campus. Now in year two of the project, the goal is to increase production to meet the biodiesel needs of the community. The project provides learning opportunities for students, reduces waste, and serves the community by creating local resources. Learn more.
University of Oregon
To launch project development, student leaders are engaging the campus and community in a Sports & Sustainability Summit to innovate ways to reduce carbon emissions. This project celebrates UO’s unique sports culture by bringing together leaders in sports and sustainability to build a better future. Learn more.