Illinois State University’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) is working with a variety of campus partners to offer resources and events to support the campus community after the November 3 election.
“Illinois State, like every campus in the nation, learned a lesson after the 2016 election,” said Harriett Steinbach, co-chair of Illinois State’s Voter Engagement Coalition and assistant director at CESL. “We weren’t prepared to support our students. We want to be sure, this time, that we have a variety of resources and outlets available for students, faculty, and staff so that they can effectively process the election experience regardless of the outcome.”
A new post-election page on the Redbird Voter Guide lists resources and events for the campus community. Additional items will also be added.
“Surviving the Surge” panel presentation
CESL and the Multicultural Center are co-hosting a panel presentation on Friday, October 23, for University faculty and staff. “Surviving the Surge: Supporting Yourself and Your Students through Difficult Times” will give faculty and staff time and space to share their feelings about how they are coping with the current emotionally charged climate related to the election and COVID-19.
Dr. Christa Platt will facilitate the panel discussion with Dr. David Adams, Dr. Byron Craig, Angell Howard, and Dr. Katy Strzepek. The panel will give faculty and staff the chance to share trauma-informed/healing-centered tips about how to check in with students and with their colleagues.
“Faculty and staff are often so busy that they do not stop to take care of themselves,” said Strzepek, director of CESL. “We wanted to reserve this time to share resources and to envision ways we can uplift community-building as we work to heal our broken democracy.”
To register, faculty and staff can submit this online form.
Post-election student reflection circles
CESL is also working with faculty and staff across the University to facilitate a series of student reflection circles after the election.
“We hope these circles provide a structured space for students to share their concerns about the election results,” said Strzepek. “Having the chance to discuss difficult topics often helps students process their emotions and can help build community. Students will also have the opportunity to share their hopes for the future of our democracy and will learn about ways they can become involved in civic engagement activities on campus or in their home communities.”
Multiple Reflection Circles are currently being planned, offering a variety of date/time options for students. The virtual circles will be co-facilitated by graduate assistants in Psychology, Social Work, College Student Personnel Administration, and University faculty/staff.
Registration information for the Student Reflection Circles is available through Redbird Life.