At Buena Vista University, we believe students learn best and most by doing. With this goal in mind, the Civic Engagement office serves as an excellent resource for students seeking experiential learning opportunities. A full-time staff person and student advisory board, named Student M.O.V.E (Mobilize, Outreach, Volunteer, Efforts), assist individuals and groups looking to participate in service opportunities. Local, regional, national, and international volunteer opportunities help students realize the importance of civic responsibility and engagement. These experiences serve as the cornerstone of BVU, as are exemplified by our motto of Education for Service.
At Buena Vista, we use the following definitions to define Civic Engagement:
"Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement encompasses a range of specific activities such as working in a soup kitchen, serving on a neighborhood association, writing a letter to an elected official or voting. Indeed, an underlying principle of our approach is that an engaged citizen should have the ability, agency and opportunity to move comfortably among these various types of civic acts."
— Pew Charitable Trusts
"Community Engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity."
— Carnegie Foundation
The Office of Civic Engagement offers a wide variety of service opportunities that include Alternative Spring Breaks, mentoring, and Buenafication Day. Student M.O.V.E, the student led board annually sponsors events including Alternative Happy Hours, Alternative Weekends, and an Alternative Week of Off-site Learning (AWOL) program. Each event pairs a volunteer experience with an opportunity for social interaction. The Office of Civic Engagement also sponsors the BV Buddies mentoring Program.
Director of Civic Engagement - Ashley Farmer-Hanson 712.749.2443 Farmer@bvu.edu
BVU has received multiple awards for our commitment to community service. Our proudest accomplishment is being Carnegie Classified in Community Engagement.
Student M.O.V.E. was awarded a State of Iowa Governor's Volunteer Award in 2009.
We are also a proud member of Iowa Campus Compact.