Resources for Alumni Volunteers

Civic Engagement Event Category

The Ohio State University defines it’s mission through the following initiatives: create and discover knowledge to improve the well-being of our state, regional, national and global communities; educate students through a comprehensive array of distinguished academic programs; prepare a diverse student body to be leaders and engaged citizens; and foster a culture of engagement and service. To better support the University’s mission, The Ohio State Alumni Association has created a Civic Engagement Category 1 event for our clubs and societies.  

Through this new event category, the Alumni Association is both challenging and empowering our volunteers to help lead discussions around issues of local, state, national, and global significance. The goal of this event category is not to encourage alumni and friends to “choose a side” of an issue. Rather, the goal of the program is to encourage our alumni and friends to be engaged citizens, to improve the quality of political discourse, and feel empowered to be leaders on critical issues.

Examples include:

  • Lecture or panel discussion on critical issues of public interest or directly related to the interests and mission of The Ohio State University
  • Discussion groups on critical issues of public interest or directly related to the interests and mission of The Ohio State University
  • Book club focused on civic engagement issue (please contact your REO or liaison to discuss your ideas)
  • Voter Registration drives
  • Host or join a Dialogue from The John Glenn College of Public Affairs
    • More information on upcoming Dialogue events can be found here.
    • Host a virtual discussion with your club or society after viewing one of the Dialogue events
    • Past Dialogue events are available for streaming and can be utilized for one of your events
      • Alumni would be responsible for viewing Dialogue on their own time and be prepared for the virtual discussion hosted by the alumni group
  • The Origins program from the College of Arts and Sciences combines current events with a historical perspective. There are plenty of audio recordings available through the Origins webpage, in addition to a great library of videos on their YouTube channel.
    • Much like utilizing the Dialogue resources from the John Glenn College for a civic engagement event, the OSUAA would encourage your group to plan for your event to be a discussion of the subject matter in an Origins video or podcast of your choosing. 
  • The College of Arts and Sciences also offers a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate for anybody with a bachelor’s degree (fee applies). The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certificate is ideally positioned to prepare you as a thought leader and sharpen your skills to address emergent issues related to our increasing diversity. Upon successful completion of the program, you will possess an in-depth understanding of contemporary social diversity, particularly with respect to the three dimensions that are the root of major societal cleavages: social class, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality.   

Best Practices:

  • Give extra consideration towards how the discussion will begin. The first discussion question will ultimately set the tone for the entire discussion. Ahead of time, identify the key takeaways for your group and build your discussion questions around those takeaways. Additionally, identify a leader from your group to help lead the discussion.
  • What is the source material for the discussion? The Alumni Association recommends using non or bi-partisan materials to help give your participants a comprehensive overview of a critical issue.  
  • When hosting a focused discussion around an issue, we encourage alumni groups to use subject matter experts rather than politicians or political party officials.
  • We discourage our alumni groups from advocating on behalf of “wedge issues” or specific candidates for public office. While we respect the first amendment rights of all Buckeyes and their freedom of speech and association, the purpose of this program is to further civic engagement and your programming should be open to and resonate with all Buckeyes.
  • Consider hosting an event around issues that are relevant to the current student experience at The Ohio State University, such as: access and affordability, open carry on college campuses, and free speech issues on college campuses.  

BallotReady

Although it cannot be leveraged for an alumni group event, an additional civic engagement resource available through the alumni association is BallotReady.  

  • BallotReady allows you to check your voter registration status, explore the specific candidates and issues for your jurisdiction, and make your plan to vote on election day.   
  • You can learn more about and take advantage of BallotReady by clicking here.