Governors State University students attend President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2013.

At GSU we have experiential learning opportunities through Civic Engagement programs to help you develop a deeper understanding and interest in what it means to be truly engaged in your community – wherever you come from or go to after graduation.  You’ll develop critical thinking skills and an understanding of how you can create social change.



  • Presidential Inauguration


     GSU students were there in Washington on the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2013.  The event was not only exciting, but a way to experience American democracy and the orderly transition that takes place every four year.


  • American Democracy Project


    GSU works with the American Democracy Project an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in partnership with The New York Times.  Faculty participated in  the New York Times as part of their curriculum delivery to infuse civic engagement. 

    We are committed to delivering social and civic responsibility within the core of our curriculum to create active and engaged citizens.  American Democracy Project offers resources and opportunities to assist with creating avenues for civic participation.

    We take our role as a beacon for the community very seriously, through nurturing partnerships with community organizations, and promoting faculty and student civic engagement.



  • Civic Reflection Fellows Project



    Civic Reflection Pilot Project --The Project on Civic Reflection and ILCC was a one-year pilot project, funded by the McCormick Foundation, designed to deepen student reflection in service learning and build the capacity of faculty and staff to deliver effective reflection discussion. Six students from Governors State University participated with three other schools; University of Chicago, Truman College and the School of Psychology.

    Students attended facilitation training and collaborated with other participants to lead community and campus discussions.  The GSU Civic Reflection Team will lead the campus discussion on Community Service/Service-Learning.


    GSU's Civic Reflection Team
    Darryl K. Cooke, Student
    Brittani Barnett, Student
    Christopher Cook, Student
    Nikki Dailey, Student 
    Deidre Vargas, Student
    Dr. Lorri Glass, Faculty
    Dr. Phyllis West, Faculty
    Sheree Sanderson, Assistant Dean of Students 

    Civic Reflection Fellows facilitate discussion groups for clubs and organizations, to participate contact Sheree Sanderson at



  • Homework Project


    CECSC is currently working with the community schools to create the Homework Project.  The Homework Project is designed to make a difference in communities and help students advance along the academic continuum while developing GSU students' civic and workforce skills.  The program works with teachers and elementary students to assist with homework and social skills as an after school program. 

    The program will accept 15 to 20 volunteers who are interested in mentoring and assisting children.

    Homework Project Program Goals:
    • Help disadvantaged youth succeed and advance along the academic continuum
    • Develop members’ and students' civic skills, attitudes and habits
    • Improve members’ and students' workforce skills

    To learn more about the program contact Neel Rana at 708.235.7454 or email

  • GSU Votes




    Online voter registration resources for Governors State University students and community members

    In an open letter to the community, President Maimon urged students to “Make sure that you are registered to vote and that you take your civic responsibilities seriously.”

    Ensuring that every member of the GSU community votes is central to GSU’s mission to serve as a vigorous public square by promoting active and engaged citizenship in its students and the regional community.

    National Voter Registration Day

    The League of Women Voters, The National Congress of Black Women, Mass Vote and Rock the Vote  sponsored National Voter Registration Day at Governors State University. GSU registered voters, held raffles and served refreshments. The event was open to the public.

    Helpful links and resources:  

    Voter Registration Resources  

    National Voter Registration Act 

    The 1998 Higher Education Act Mandatory Good Fair Effort for the National Voter Registration Act states, in part, "The institution will make good faith effort to distribute a mail voter registration form, requested and received from the State, to each student enrolled in a degree or certificate program and physically in attendance at the institution, and to make such forms widely available to students at the institution."

    Voter registrars are available for the GSU students, faculty and community, feel free to contact the Civic Engagement and Community Service Center for additional information.


    GSU Voter Registrars
    Sheree Y. Sanderson
    Assistant Dean of Students
    Office: A2104


    Johnsie McAuley-Davis
    Office Administrator
    Office: A2103

    Karen Caesar Smith
    Director of Special Events


  • Relay for Life


     You can join the team to fight cancer.  GSU will host its own Relay for Live, an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  Join one of the university teams and compete against your fellow students in our March Madness themed brackets.  Then on April 5, 2014 you can compete in the Relay at the Rec and Fitness Center.  It’s a great cause and a great way to get and stay fit.






  • President's Volunteer Service Award



    Governors State University participates in the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious national honor offered in recognition of volunteer commitment.The award is given by the President of the United States and honors individuals, families, and groups who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service over the course of 12 months.

    GSU has teamed with hundreds of organizations and businesses across the country to deliver this award to our most outstanding volunteers. As a certifying organization of the PVSA, you can nominate potential recipients and distribute the award to those who meet or exceed the award criteria. Click on the link to complete the Volunteer Hours Verification Form and return it to the address listed on the form.

    Children, adults, families and groups are eligible to receive the award. To qualify for the PVSA, volunteers simply submit a record of their service hours to GSU. We will verify the service and deliver the award.

    To learn more and find out how to qualify for the award, please contact Sheree Sanderson, Award Administrator at or 708.534.4552; or visit 

    Award Levels

    There are three levels of the award varying by hours of service completed within a 12-month period.

    Children: Ages 14 and younger

    • Bronze Award 50–74 hours
    • Silver Award 75–99 hours
    • Gold Award 100 or more hours

    Young Adults: Ages 15–25

    • Bronze Award 100–174 hours
    • Silver Award 175–249 hours
    • Gold Award 250 or more hours

    Adults: Ages 26 and up

    • Bronze Award 100–249 hours
    • Silver Award 250–499 hours
    • Gold Award 500 or more hours

    Families and Groups (two or more people)*

    • Bronze Award 200–499 hours
    • Silver Award 500–999 hours
    • Gold Award 1,000 or more hours

    *Each member contributing at least 25 hours towards the total.



Civic Engagement Blog

Check out the Civic Engagement and Community Service Center's Blog for updates on their many programs and events.

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