At Globe University-La Crosse, hands-on learning is not just a motto, it’s a promise. Students come to the university to study a specific career field, get hands-on experience, and be able to graduate from college trained for a job. Even in a general education course, without a hands-on approach, the meaning may be lost. For example, how do you teach social justice while including a service learning project? Advocacy.
How can advocacy be inspired? Here are 3 ways Globe students found inspiration:
Self Inspired Advocacy
Students can be inspired to advocate on topics that they’re passionate about. “I wrote to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s,” said Clover Zeller, business administration degree student. “[Parkinson’s] has impacted me because I suffer from it. I hope that I do get to have him come to the area to speak and get awareness out.”
Clover explained in her presentation that many people do not understand her disease, especially since she is so young. Clover is an amazing woman whose strength and tenacity are to be commended for being a great self-advocate, but moreover, speaking up and being a voice for all La Crosse area Parkinson’s diagnoses.
Family Inspired Advocacy
Family can inspire. Student Anna Bock spoke up for her son who couldn’t speak up for himself. “I am advocating for every child in Sparta School District that rides a school bus,” she said. “My goal is to have seatbelts implemented on every school bus. This has made a great impact on me because of the minor incident my son, who was four years old at the time, had that caused him a bruise and scratches. I plan to follow this [a letter to the editor] through and send letters to each of the school board members, as well.”
Interest Inspired Advocacy
Lorali Mickelson worked on an advocacy project to create a voice for the voiceless. “The impact it had on my life is it opened my eyes to see how well I have it and how much I can help out,” said Lorali. “I will keep advocating as long as I can.” Lorali contacted the Children’s Miracle Network to ask them to support the “Not in Harry’s Name” project run through the Harry Potter Alliance that promotes human rights issues. This group works with the indignity of children and other workers forced to harvest chocolate used to create the novelty “chocolate frogs” promoted by the Warner Brothers Company.
Advocacy for All
Students were inspired to support many different causes including animal rights, teen pregnancy, rape, and special education. They addressed their letters to political giants like President Obama and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to the editors of Seventeen magazine and the local newspaper editors. Almost every student indicated that he or she found a topic that they were passionate about and would continue to advocate for after the class ended. In the past, the Global Citizenship class was a mandatory course for each degree awarded at Globe University-La Crosse. At times, students resented the idea of being in the class, but by the end of the quarter they found something to be happy about—for many it was their advocacy letter.
This post was written by Ree Nae Roberge-Greene. Ree Nae is the Student Services and Online Learning Coordinator at Globe University-La Crosse. She has been employed at Globe University since January 2011. She moved into the role of Student Services Coordinator in August of 2011 and loves it! Ree Nae Roberge-Greene blogs for Globe-La Crosse, and she is enjoying the challenge of finding a new and exciting topic to write about each week.