Event Title

Student Activist Identity: The Relationship Between Activist Identity and Undergraduate Campus Involvement

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Start Date

28-3-2011 4:30 PM

Description

INTRODUCTION: Historically, student activism has taken many forms, whether it be service learning, volunteering, feminist activism, or LGBT activism, the labels are endless. However, little research has examined the similarities of experiences across the many forms of student activism. Such experiences may include gained skills and knowledge, as well as developed and maintained relationships through participation in specific activities. Furthermore, to the researcher’s knowledge, nothing currently exists to measure these experiences as it relates to student identity and the impact of such identity on the student activist. However, Levine (1999) has identified particular characteristics of current student activists: they work on a small scale, primarily focus on local work, take on manageable and possible tasks, focus on issue-oriented goals and projects, and emphasize human rights and multiculturalism. They also demonstrate critical hope in creating visible change. The current study strives to examine both the identity of a student activist and the range of student experiences related to student activism. Moreover, identifying specific GVSU sponsored programs that assist in the development of activists; the environment that brings a student to identify as a student activist; and how the identity shapes their experiences as a student and a member of a campus community, as well as a local and national citizen.

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Mar 28th, 4:30 PM

Student Activist Identity: The Relationship Between Activist Identity and Undergraduate Campus Involvement

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

INTRODUCTION: Historically, student activism has taken many forms, whether it be service learning, volunteering, feminist activism, or LGBT activism, the labels are endless. However, little research has examined the similarities of experiences across the many forms of student activism. Such experiences may include gained skills and knowledge, as well as developed and maintained relationships through participation in specific activities. Furthermore, to the researcher’s knowledge, nothing currently exists to measure these experiences as it relates to student identity and the impact of such identity on the student activist. However, Levine (1999) has identified particular characteristics of current student activists: they work on a small scale, primarily focus on local work, take on manageable and possible tasks, focus on issue-oriented goals and projects, and emphasize human rights and multiculturalism. They also demonstrate critical hope in creating visible change. The current study strives to examine both the identity of a student activist and the range of student experiences related to student activism. Moreover, identifying specific GVSU sponsored programs that assist in the development of activists; the environment that brings a student to identify as a student activist; and how the identity shapes their experiences as a student and a member of a campus community, as well as a local and national citizen.