Civic Engagement means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. Student's recognize themselves as a member of a larger social fabric and are empowered to make informed judgements,take action and shape the community.

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.



  • Service & Leadership Seminar



    The Service and Leadership Seminar was a week long experiential learning opportunity for incoming freshmen at Governors State University.  The seminar was held prior to the start of the 2015 fall semester, August 17 – 21st.  Students were provided an opportunity to learn about community service, leadership, and self-awareness.  The seminar encompassed community service projects, workshops, speakers, and interaction with current campus leaders.  Students were immersed in an array of activities that enabled participants to discover how they can help create positive, sustainable change on Governors State University’s campus.

    Registration is closed.

    For more information contact S. Sanderson at 708-534-4552708-534-4552

  • 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 apply  click

    To learn more about the program contact Taneisha Palmer at 708.235.7454708.235.7454 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.

    Vote By Mail

    In Illinois, any voter is eligible to vote by mail.

    Step 1: If you haven't received an application to Vote By Mail, you can apply online: Visit and click on Absentee ballot/ Vote by Mail in the voting section. Carefully read ALL instructions and fill it out. Be sure to sign and date the application.

    Step 2: Make sure you apply right away! Your application must be received no later than October 24 to allow for processing.

    Step 3: When your ballot arrives in the mail, follow the instructions and vote in private using the absentee ballot. A completed absentee ballot must be postmarked on or before Monday, November 3, 2014.


     In partnership with American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) GSU's Civic Engagement and Community Service Center will utilize the TurboVote online voters' registration system. Students, faculty, and staff can register to vote online at TurboVote is an online voting registration system that makes registering easy.


    If you need to get registered, update your voter registration, or request an absentee ballot, TurboVote can provide all the forms and information you need, when you need it. TurboVote will send you a text message or email reminder with election information, dates, and deadlines.


    Register today at


    If you desire the personal touch student senate is also available to register you to vote through GSU Rocks the Vote. Once again the student senate has become deputy registrars and are able to register anyone residing in the state of Illinois, no matter what county you reside in.


    GSU Rocks the Vote

    Governors State University encourages all students to get registered and to vote. Each member of the GSU Student Senate is a deputy registrar, and can register you in the Student Senate Office, Located on Student Row in the A-Wing.


    Times/Locations To Register to Vote

    Hall of Governors  

    • September 22nd 1:00pm-5:00pm

    Student Senate Office Room A2122 3:00pm-6:00pm 

    • September 24th
    • September 29th
    • October 1st
    • October 3rd

    Through out work with Illinois Campus Compact the Civic Engagement and Community Service Center is the recipient of the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP). The grant supports GSU's implementation of campis-wide strategic and comprehensive approach to election engagement.


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

    Dennis Dent
    Coordinator of Campus Programs & Community Service
    Office: A2102

    Karen Caesar Smith
    Director of Special Events


  • Presidential Inauguration


     GSU students traveled to Washington DC to attend the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama in 2013.  

  • 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



  • Relay for Life


    Relay for Life is an exciting program that celebrates those in the Fight against Cancer. Relay for Life is described as...:

    • Organized, overnight, community fundraising walk
    • Teams of people camp out around a track
    • Members of each team take turns walking around the track
    • Food, games and activities provide entertainment and build camaraderie
    • Family-friendly environment for the community

    Because it's a team event, individual participants are not required to be there the entire time. But it's so much fun, you'll find it hard to leave!

    GSU Relay for Life 2016

    April (Day TBD) 2016

    6pm- Midnight

    Hall of Governors

    Relay for Life is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. For more information visit the site below.

     Relay for Life Website










  • 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 708.534.4552708.534.4552; 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.

Learn More

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