Community Engagement

Statement from BSU Community Engagement Council:

We are aware of the pain caused in our communities and the larger society that has resulted from the death of George Floyd.  Our hearts go out to the family and friends of George Floyd and to all who experience marginalization and oppression.  As we work to create community connection and support the larger region, know that as a Community Engagement Council and as members of the BSU community, we stand against all forms of racism and intolerance and for the creation of a just and peaceful society.  In the spirit of President Hensrud’s statement to the BSU campus community, please know that we will strive to continue our connections with a clear focus on creating a culture of civility and respect, and with a focus on developing community engagements that help us establish deeper and more understanding relationships with each other.

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The community engagement interpretation that guided task force thinking comes from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (2016). In this statement, community engagement is described as a collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.  The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

Boyte (2010) and Schudson’s (2003) notion of citizenship as a full member of society provide additional constructs for our plan.  These are:

  1. Traditional civic engagement: The use of political institutions to foster change—e.g. casting votes, polling, enforcing workplace policies
  2. Community-based service: The donation of time and resources to previously identified, or co-created needs of partnering institutions and organizations, usually altruistically, but also academically—e.g. food drives, charity events, service-learning opportunities
  3. Public work: Community-driven participatory action to solve shared problems, usually developing new relationships and skills to do so—e.g. community gardens, action-based research projects

Community Engagement Council Mission and Vision

BSU Vision Statement – BSU will cultivate engaged leaders who facilitate transformative change in our communities.

BSU Mission Statement – BSU creates opportunities and capacities to be transformative citizens, volunteers, professionals and co-creators of our communities.