North Central College students expanded their civic engagement by participating with local residents in DuPage United, a local nonprofit organization that promotes democratic action.
A group of 15 students joined approximately 500 DuPage County residents on Nov. 4 at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn for the annual assembly meeting of DuPage United. During the meeting, community leaders presented their concerns on a variety of issues, including workforce development, government reform, religious tolerance and affordable housing, and sought commitments from local candidates on the issues discussed.
“It’s a good opportunity for the College and the community as a whole to take up issues and work together,” says Brian Cory ’14, a double-major in sociology and anthropology. Cory and two other students—Brittany Cufaude ’14, sociology/criminal justice major, and Brian Failing ’14, history major—have attended regular DuPage United leaders meetings throughout fall term, along with Assistant Professor of Sociology Kristin Geraty.
Also in attendance at the annual assembly were Jennifer Keys, associate professor of sociology, and Arlinda Bajrami ’12, Molly Daukus ’13, Viviana Gutierrez ’13, Jessica Pantel ’13, Ana Rivera ’14, Matthew Wilke ’15, Marci Wirtz ’14 and Nikki Young ’15. Although many students who attended the annual assembly meeting had ties to the College’s sociology and anthropology department, other students represented the Leadership, Ethics and Values program and Office of Ministry and Service.
The College’s participation with DuPage United originated from Geraty who has been involved with the organization for a number of years. Several students who have been assisting Geraty in research became involved as well and started long-term planning for student engagement with DuPage United.
“In terms of outcomes, a core group of students will continue to attend DuPage United leaders meetings with me as representatives of North Central College,” Geraty says. “The students and I also hope to organize a leadership training session on campus during winter term in partnership with DuPage United.”
DuPage United is an inclusive, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose members are part of civil society institutions, including churches, mosques, synagogues, nonprofit agencies and associations. These institutions come together to form public relationships and act together to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.
By Klariza Alvaran ’13