Civic Engagement

The Spencer Center prepares graduates to be active, invested participants in improving their communities through volunteerism, advocacy, voting, and other efforts – this is what it means to be civically engaged. The center cultivates socially-responsible professionals through a range of programs including education on campus and active engagement off campus. We help students become more aware of social issues and civic problems, partnering with community members and organizations to provide hands-on opportunities for experiences that broaden student skills and capacity for effecting positive social change.

Benefits of participation: Develop teamwork, communication and networking skills; learn firsthand about community issues and local organizations, and take advantage of leadership opportunities.

Education: On Campus

  • Social Justice Action Group (SJAG) – a student-led group exploring social justice issues and taking action in the local community
  • Voter registration and education programs
  • Workshops and guest speakers on topics such as facilitated dialogue and community change
  • Community-engaged learning courses (“C” courses)

Action: In the Community

  • MBU Connect: ongoing service projects, including:
    • Legacy Tree Project
    • YMCA
    • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
  • Saturdays in Staunton
  • Local awareness and non-profit fundraising events
  • Meet Staunton (community orientation for first-year students)
  • Local non-profit board membership opportunities
  • Social action initiatives

MBU Civic Engagement Opportunities

Meet Staunton: an introduction to the people and organizations in Staunton; offered initially during Orientation for incoming first-year students; also offered periodically for groups throughout the academic year
MBU Connect: get involved in a local organization through the leadership of an MBU Site Leader. These opportunities include community service, advocacy and community education. See this year’s list of opportunities and let us know if you’d like to sign up! [link to Google form]
Other Local Volunteer Opportunities: check out this list <NEED LINK TO LIST> of organizations in Staunton and the local area offering exciting opportunities for you to get involved. Contact the organization directly, or talk with the Civic Engagement Assistant in the Spencer Center for tips about how to get involved.
Political Participation: contact representatives of local political organizations to get active in local political campaigns and action. Check out information about voting as a college student.
Service-Learning (Community Involvement and Civic Engagement Courses): register for a class that includes civic engagement as one of the assignments or “texts” of the course!

For more details on civic engagement at MBU, email