YouVote Fact File
www.YouVote.msu.edu

The YouVote website was created after the 2000 Presidential Election.  Many people were confused about voting, like where and how to vote.  Therefore the YouVote website was created to answer these questions.  On the website (www.YouVote.msu.edu) one can find all the answers about voting including, the issues of the election, how to register, where to register, and proposals.

The three main goals of the YouVote program are:

For your Agency Fact File, you must include the following eight items of information:

(1) The Service-Learning Center's "Position Description" of your agency assignment.

The organization YouVote helps inform people how to vote as well as educate votes on the candidates.

(2) A description of the people your agency serves, as well as a list of your agency's main programs and community activities.

YouVote mainly works with the students of MSU and the people of East Lansing, although anyone can be apart of it. YouVote also has programs such as registration events and concerts. You can see upcoming events at the YouVote website.

(3) At least one recent newspaper or magazine article (not the entire document) covering an activity sponsored by your agency. If this is something not already "online," you are to scan it/them and post it/them to your Agency Fact File.

Here is an article YouVote was featured in!

(4) Any PUBLIC DOCUMENTS - pamphlets, brochures, information sheets, etc. - issued by your agency describing its specific purpose and mission. If this information is not already "online," you are to post them to your Agency Fact File (possibly after scanning relevant pamphlets, brochures, information sheets, etc.).

YouVote has listed a frequently asked questions page their homepage to better understand their purpose.

(5) At least one copy of an "IN HOUSE" document - a recent newsletter or similar - issued by your agency. Yet again, if the document/s is/are not already "online," you are to scan it/them and post to your Agency Fact File.

(6) Links - with one-paragraph descriptions - to at least three other agencies with similar purposes and missions.

I Vote You Vote helps get you and your friends and family members to register to vote. You simply fill out the information online and you will be registered. You can also send the site to friends and family to help them out. It is a "project of the non-partisan American Democracy Institute" that really wants people to get out and vote!

Project Vote Smart is also non-partisan and want to protect us by making sure we all vote. They would like it if we self-govern rather than having the government rule our country. This is run by many volunteers, young and old, willing to put in time to give back information on upcoming candidates. Vote Smart is historical and will keep on informing citizens for years to come.

Just Vote gives information for voter registration and also information on the candidates as well. It has many links to sites and lots of good voter information for each state. They include phone numbers of offices you may need to contact if you have any questions on voting as well.

(7) A 500-750 word essay about your agency. 


The Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE) consists of Karen McKnight-Casey as the director. The CSLCE created the YouVote. Under the director is an associate directior, one assistant director, two student services professionals, one accounts manager, one database manager, one receptionist, two graduate students program advisors, and three student employees on hourly wages. For a chart for the University Outreach and Engagement please go to http://outreach.msu.edu/orgChart.asp. The agency has existed for 41 years. It began as the Office of Volunteers in 1968 and is the oldest continuously operating service-learning center in the coutry. The CSLCE is a MSU unit and is housed at the East Lansing campus.
    Working at the office Karen tries to carry out the mission of the center to provice active, service-focused, community-based, mutually beneficial, learning opportunities for students, building and enhancing their commitment to academics, personal and professional development, and civic responsibility. As the Director she is responsible for serving as the primary liaison to the university community for the development and implementation of curricular and co-curricular service-learning and civic engagement experiences and opportunities. She also engages with community, local, national and international, to develop service-learning based partnerships. She collaborates with peer and other institutions of higher education, nationally and internationally, in endevors related to the  mission of the CSLCE. She generates grants and supervices professional and student staff and support advisement of student-led initiatives related to service. Her favorite part however, is being able to work with students, faculty, and community partners in ways that meet the needs of all. The most frustrating part of her job is dealing with the upcoming budget cuts due to decreases in state funding.
    Dealing with changes is a big part of her job. If she could change one thing about the agency it would be to have efficient transportation more readily available for students so that they can more easily reach community agencies, organizations and schools. CSLCE is unique in the services it provides.
    As this job is Karen's profession she is getting paid and alot of her personality goes into it. Some of her personal heroes are JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. because they truely helped shape the direction and course of her life. As the director of such an important and inspiring organization she also is helping shape the lives of the young adults she is dealing with on a daily basis.
YouVote is a committee of both students and faculty that trys to promote people, mostly college students, to get out and vote.  The students make videos that try to get people to vote.

The Founders:

-          Virginia (Ginny) Haas, Community Relations Director, Office of the Vice President for Governmental Affairs, haasv@msu.edu

-          Patricia Enos, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs and Services, enos@msu.edu

-          Cathy Neuman, Assistant Director Student Life, neumanc@msu.edu

-          David Stowe, MSU Faculty,  Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures, stowed@msu.edu

-          Karen McKnight Casey, Director, CSLCE 

Supporters:

-          Lee N. June, Vice President Student Affairs and Services (contact through his assistant, Anna Yokoyama, yokoyam4@msu.edu)

-          Steve Webster, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, (discuss with Ginny Haas)

 Current Leaders:

-          Ali Barlow, Graduate Student, Student Affairs and Services and Governmental Affairs, barlowal@msu.edu

-          Nicole Evans, City Clerk, City of East Lansingnevans@cityofeastlansing.com

-          John Dowell, WRA 135, jdowell@msu.edu

-          Erin Carter, Community Relations Coalition, carte221@msu.edu

-          Mark Dobson, Residence Hall Association, president@rha.msu.edu

-          Emily Serkaian, Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), serkaia3@msu.edu

-          Kyle Dysarzky, ASMSU, dysarzky@msu.edu

-          Kanika Suri, Undergraduate Student Intern, Governmental Affairs and YouVote Liaison to WRA 135, , kanika01@gmail.com

-          Melissa Beard, Undergraduate Student Intern, Governmental Affairs, beardme1@msu.edu





Interview:

1. Describe the hierarchy of the agency?

The Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE) is an MSU Board of Trustees-mandated, university-wide center designed and designated to support academic/course-connected, curricular and co-curricular service-learning and student civic and community engagement, http://www.servicelearning.msu.edu/

The two administrators to which the CSLCE reports, through me as the director, are the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services (VPSAS) and the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement (UOE).

 
In terms of staffing, the CSLCE has:

-  One Director,

-  One Associate Director-Administrative Professional/Supervisor

-  One Assistant Director-Academic Specialist,

- Two Student Services Program-Administrative Professionals

- One Accounts Manager-Clerical/Technical

- One Database Manage-Clerical Technical

- One Receptionist-Clerical/Technical

- Two Graduate Student Program Advisors (one in Higher Educational Administration (half-time); one in Teacher Education (one-third time)

Three student employees on hourly wage.

 

For an organizational chart for University Outreach and Engagement, please see: http://outreach.msu.edu/orgChart.asp

For a list of units under the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, please see: http://www.vps.msu.edu/units

 
Funding: The funding for the staff positions and for the operations of the CSLCE is provided jointly from the Provost through VPSAS and UOE, and comes from General Fund dollars.

The CSLCE also has a small endowment (specific use) and small revenue from a gift fund (open as to use.)

 
2. How long has the agency existed?

41 years.  The CSLCE began as the Office of Volunteers in 1968, became the Service-Learning Center in 1979, and then the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in 2002. It is the oldest continuously operating service-learning center in the country. (http://www.servicelearning.msu.edu/40th-anniversary-celebration


3. Where is the local/regional/etc. headquarters located?

Since the CSLCE is an MSU unit, it is housed at the University ? East Lansing campus.


4. What do you do when you work in the office?

 The mission of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement at Michigan State

University is to provide active, service-focused, community-based, mutually beneficial,

integrated, learning opportunities for students, building and enhancing their commitment

to academics, personal and professional development, and civic responsibility.

The responsibilities of my role as director are:

- Serve as the primary liaison to the university community for the development and

implementation of curricular and co-curricular service-learning and civic

engagement experiences and opportunities.

- Assist faculty, academic departments and colleges in integrating service-learning

and civic engagement into the curriculum.

- Engage with community, local, national and international, to ascertain needs, and

develop service-learning and student civic engagement-based partnerships

centered on cultivating and sustaining academic, curricular and co-curricular

reciprocal opportunities for university students.

- Collaborate with peer and other institutions of higher education, nationally and

internationally, in endeavors related to the mission of service-learning, civic

engagement, and the scholarship of engagement.

- Document, share and promote the mission, initiatives and engaged scholarship

through formal and informal networking, conference presentations, workshops,

consultations and publications.

- Align and direct the strategies and operations of the Center for Service-Learning

and Civic Engagement and the America Reads/America Counts initiatives to the

mission and vision of the university.

- Generate grants, and partner with community organizations to secure additional

resources.

- Supervise professional and student staff and support advisement of student-led

initiatives related to service.


5. What is the best part of your job?

I would say that the best part of my job is being able to work with students, faculty and community partners in ways that meet the needs of all.


6. What is the most frustrating part of your job?

Currently, I would say that dealing with the upcoming budget cuts due decreases in State funding is the most frustrating. The community partners with which the CSLCE works rely heavily on the time and talent of service-learning students.


7. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part is seeing students being actively and successfully engaged with community.


8. If you could change anything about the agency, what would it be and how would you go about doing it?

 I would like to have efficient transportation more readily available for students so that they can more easily reach community agencies, organizations and schools. CATA is very generous in providing bus tokens to the CSLCE at no charge. These bus tokens are used by students engaged in service and service-learning. However, not all community partners can be reached by CATA bus in a reasonable period of time for MSU student needs. The current endowment that the CSLCE has provides transportation to the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing, which certainly helps. The CSLCE currently is a featured/highlighted program of the All-University Fundraising Campaign for faculty, staff and retirees. This effort is supported by the university administration and University Development. Funds raised will help support transportation to other community service-learning sites.

As the CSLCE has ?outgrown? its basement space in the Student Services Building, it would be advantageous to be moved to a more visible and useable location on campus. I currently am in discussions with my administrators to try and make this happen ? a bit of challenge in the current economy.  


9. Other agencies in East Lansing doing the same thing?

None. The CSLCE is unique in the services it provides. The Capital Area United Way has a Volunteer Center. However, the Volunteer Center services community members and handles only volunteering. The CSLCE, of course, works with MSU students and handles academic and curricular service-learning and civic engagement, and student-led group service initiatives, such as Alternative Spring Break and VITA, in addition to traditional, individual volunteering.  ?

The City of East Lansing is a partner in the YouVote initiative, in which the CSLCE also is a partner, but the roles of the City and of the CSLCE in YouVote are very different from one another. 

10. Who are some of your personal heroes?

John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were individuals who truly helped shaped the direction and course of my life. 


11. Do you get paid?

Yes, directing the CSLCE is my profession. 


12. How did the rally go to register people to vote, on Oct. 6, 2008?

 This question is best asked of those who directly coordinated and planned the event.