The Student Activities Office at Moorpark College, in collaboration with the Associated Students of Moorpark College (ASMC) Board of Directors, promotes resources and opportunities for civic engagement and advocacy. Please contact MC Student Activities Specialist Kristen Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on getting involved on campus.
According to Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich (Oryx Press, 2000), civic engagement "means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes...a morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate."
Here are some ways Moorpark College students and members of the broader community can become more civically engaged:
Vote! Voting gives you a chance to voice your opinion and elect leaders and representatives who will stand for matters that are important to you.
Volunteer in your community! Getting involved in community activities increases your knowledge on local social or political issues, helping you to be better informed and therefore more likely to feel confident in casting a vote or taking a stance on an issue.
Know your local representatives! Take time to know who your local legislators are because their daily work directly affects your community.
Attend Chamber of Commerce or community committee meetings! Similar to volunteering, listening in on Chamber of Commerce or local government committee meetings is a great way to hear about important civic issues in your community. Most meetings give time for public comment, where you can voice your concerns regarding issues.
Start a petition! See something that your local government officials or City Council aren't addressing? Rally up support for your concern and your ideas for addressing it by collecting signatures or getting people to mail in postcards, expressing their dissent. These smaller grassroots campaigns can have a big impact.
Moorpark College voter registration resource page: MC has partnered with TurboVote to make voting easier by tracking your local and national elections, and by facilitating the voter registration or absentee ballot process. Visit our website for additional information: https://moorpark.turbovote.org/.
Vote Save America: According to its website, votesaveamerica.com, Vote Save America is a step-by-step guide to help make sure you, your friends, and your family have all the information needed to vote in the current election. You'll find answers to questions about whether or not your registered to vote, if you can register to vote, who is on your ballot, where do you go to vote, and how can you help make sure your friends and family vote.
Campus Vote Project: Campus Vote Project works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting. Their website provides a lot of great information regarding policy issues, and it includes guidelines on how to start a voter registration program on campus: http://campusvoteproject.org/students/.
League of Women Voters: The LWV helps people register to vote, find polling places, and learn about ballot issues: https://www.lwv.org/.
Find your Rep: The U.S. House of Representatives website provides its Find Your Representative resource where you can learn which representatives were elected to serve in your area: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.
Best Colleges: BestColleges.com has put together a series of guides for the upcoming election season, including:
- Student Voters Guide (https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/student-voting-guide/)
- Voting in College - Common FAQs guide (https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/voting-in-college/)
- State-by-State Voter Registration Guide (https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/voting-by-state/).
How to Vote in Six Easy Steps: The Community for Accredited Online Schools has put together an article called "Navigating The Election Process for Students & First Time Voters" that easily explains what you have to do to go from unregistered voter to casting your ballot: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/students-and-first-time-voters/.
Ballotpedia: According to its website, Ballotpedia "is a nonprofit and nonpartisan online political encyclopedia written by a staff of researchers and writers. Founded in 2007, it covers American federal, state, and local politics, elections, and public policy." Students can use Ballotpedia to find out which seats are up for election in the coming election year or to learn about elections in other states. Visit https://ballotpedia.org/ to learn more.
Advocating for community college students is a major part of serving on the Associated Students of Moorpark College (ASMC) Board of Directors. Students serving on the Board of Directors represent Moorpark College students on campus, within the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD), and at the state and national levels.
Questions about advocacy efforts made by ASMC can be directed to the Board's Director of External Affairs at ASMCExternalAffairs@vcccd.edu.
Local (College and District-Level) Advocacy
Moorpark College has monthly committee meetings to discuss different aspects of Moorpark College. These committees include faculty, staff, and members of the college administration. Members of the ASMC Board of Directors also serve on a minimum of five participatory committees throughout the year as student representatives. These minimum service opportunities include positions on the following Committees:
- Curriculum Committee
- Academic Senate
- Student Success and Equity Committee
- Facilities/Technology Committee on Accreditation and Planning
- Fiscal Planning Committee
Board members also serve on other committees on campus including the Student Services Council, Multicultural Day Committee, and the Year Of Committee.
There are 112 community colleges in California serving over 2.7 million students. The California Community College Student Affairs Association and Student Senate for California Community Colleges are the two organizations which exist specifically to serve community college students.
California Community College Student Affairs Association
The California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA) has facilitated networking and leadership opportunities for California community college students, staff, and administrators involved with student affairs and leadership for over 60 years. Every fall CCCSAA holds a student leadership conference for approximately 500 student leaders and advisors from California Community Colleges’ student governments. CCSAA also awards scholarships to student each year. The Associated Students of Moorpark College (ASMC) Board of Directors attends the annual CCCSAA conference to learn ways to effectively serve Moorpark College students. For more information about CCCSAA, its mission, and for scholarship opportunities, visit http://www.cccsaa.org.
Student Senate for California Community Colleges
The Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) is an organization that strives to assist California community college students by making the collegiate experience as beneficial as possible. The SSCCC as it operates today was established in 2006, but it was formerly known as the California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC). Today, the SSCCC holds a General Assembly every semester where student representatives from each of the California community colleges discuss and vote on resolutions which will affect their peers.
The SSCCC is divided into ten (10) Regions based on geographic location, which were initially established as part of CalSACC. Each Region meets monthly throughout the year to discuss how to better meet the needs of the students in each Region. Two (2) Regional senators are elected at the spring General Assembly. These senators represent their Region at monthly SSCCC meetings in Sacramento. In addition to the two (2) regional senators from each Region, there are also ten (10) senators at large, totaling the 30 members of the SSCCC.
Moorpark College, Oxnard College, and Ventura College are all part of Region VI, along with these other schools:
- Allan Hancock College
- Antelope Valley
- College of the Canyons
- Cuesta College
- Santa Barbara City College
- Taft College
For more information about the SSCCC and its mission, visit http://www.studentsenateccc.org.
During the spring semester, the ASMC Board of Directors travels to Washington D.C. to advocate not only on behalf of Moorpark College students, but for students across America as well, about national issues that affect college students.
In March 2016 ASMC Board members met with U.S. congresswomen Julia Brownley's and Senator Feinstein's Senior Policy Directors on Higher Education on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and advocated to save Pell Grants and to have student loans be paid with pre-tax dollars.
The D.C. trip is funded by the $1 optional Student Representation Fee, as mandated by the California Education Code Section 76060.5. Is there a legislative issue you want to ensure ASMC is advocating about on your behalf? Contact the ASMC Director of External Affairs at ASMCExternalAffairs@vcccd.edu.
For more information about the American Student Association of Community Colleges and student advocacy, visit http://www.asacc.org.