Raiders Engaged

A monthly newsletter featuring civic engagement opportunities and highlights of SOU community connections!

January 2017
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In This Issue

  • From the Editors
  • Engaged Campus Highlights
  • Raider Alternative Breaks Experiences
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Civic Engagement Program News
On September 30th, 155 members of the SOU community spent a beautiful day volunteering at the 2nd annual SOU Mt. Ashland Day of Service!

From the Editors

Happy New Year, readers! Welcome to the first issue of the Civic Engagement Program newsletter, Raiders Engaged! We are excited to use this newsletter to share with you opportunities to get involved in the Rogue Valley community. We will also share and celebrate the many ways in which SOU students, employees, and alumni are engaging and contributing to their communities. Have ideas of volunteer opportunities or groups or individuals you think we should highlight? Throughout the newsletter there are links to submission forms to submit your ideas. Let's start getting involved and make a difference in our community!

Yours in service,
Asela L. Kemper - Campus and Community Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA
Nina Friedman - Civic Engagement Program Student Coordinator
Jill Smedstad - Environmental and Community Engagement Coordinator

Engaged Campus Highlights

Highlighting students, employees, and community organizations doing amazing work to serve their community. 

SOU Student Athletes: Practicing Servant Leadership

Southern Oregon University student-athletes are involved in more than just school and sports. Did you know that each student-athlete is expected to engage in volunteer community service for ten hours per academic year? With around 400 student-athletes, that translates to 4,000 hours of community service per year! Most teams have their own pet projects they work on, from free clinics for youth to work for the Jackson County Fuel commission. They also encourage servant leadership on campus through clubs and other organizations.

Athletic's student athlete advisory committee, the Black and Red Crew, also plan two big service projects each year for the entire department. They conducted the state of Oregon Special Olympics track meet last spring, as well as Real Raiders Read and Raider Lunch Buddies where student athletes dedicate time in grade schools reading or hanging out with kids. Way to go Raiders!

Community Works and the WRC: Partners in Advocacy and Student Support

Community Works is a Medford based non-profit agency serving children, adolescents, young adults, women and families who are working to overcome a severe life crisis or trauma. A strong community partner with SOU, Community Works frequently collaborates with the Women's Resource Center (WRC) to enhance the services provided out of both organizations. Community Works provides free Victims Advocates training that have been attended by a number of SOU employees and students, and continue to be a vital resource. Additionally, the WRC and Community Works often partner during October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month tabling in the Stevenson Union to better educate and support students around these issues. Community Works regularly provides confidential advocates at WRC events, recognizing the importance of having this resource available to folks who may need support and advocacy.

Reciprocally, the WRC frequently coordinates hygiene drives where they collect hygiene products to donate to the Dunn House, a safe shelter run by Community Works that is available to women and Women's Resource Center staffchildren who are escaping domestic and/or sexual abuse. In winter of 2017, the WRC donated $500 to Community Works from ticket sales proceeds from their production of the Vagina Monologues.

This partnership continues to be one that both strengthens resources on the SOU campus, as well as supports the important work that is happening through Community Works! For more information, contact the WRC at or Community Work's Alyssa McPartland at

Indigenous People's Day Recognition for SOU and Ashland

SOU Native American students and faculty were instrumental in achieving formal recognition of Indigenous People's Day as a holiday for both SOU and the City of Ashland in 2017. In preparation for celebrating Indigenous People’s Day October 2016, Lupe Sims, then a student at SOU and now currently an office assistant in the Division of Social Science, first had the idea to petition SOU to formally recognize Indigenous People's Day. In collaboration with the Native American Student Union, Native American Studies program, and the Multicultural Resource Center, Sims collected petition signatures and solicited unanimous support from ASSOU, the University Planning Board and the SOU Cabinet. This was followed by a formal recognition letter from President Schott on June 15, 2017.
Based on the success at SOU, Sims - along with Brook Colley, chair of the Native American Studies (NAS) program and David West, Director Emeritus of NAS and Dan Wahpepah of Red Earth Descendants (R.E.D) - went on to successfully petition the Ashland City Council to also recognize Indigenous People’s Day. Here too they received unanimous support, and in collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival Indigenous People’s Day was officially celebrated at SOU and in Ashland October 8th to 9th, 2017. The celebration took place on SOU Campus with performances by OSF and had a great turnout. Sims and the rest of the Indigenous People’s Day committee felt that the community’s engagement, especially with Indigenous people, was extremely successful as it offered knowledge, culture, multicultural education and reminders of Indigenous contributions.
Know of a student group, SOU employee, or community organization that Raiders Engaged should highlight?
Submit Here!

Raider Alternative Breaks

Join the growing community of SOU "Alt Breakers" (awesome people dedicated to active citizenship) by signing up to participate in a transformative service-learning experience this spring break March 25-31! Raider Alternative Breaks is offering SOU students two different affordable opportunities to learn and serve on an unforgettable experience over your next break.

"Housing Security in the Mountain West" participants will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, Colorado and explore issues of housing security and justice in an urban environment. Participants pay a fee of $300 for this experience, which includes ground and air transportation, lodging, program fees, and most meals.

Students on the "People and Preservation on the Oregon Coast" experience will volunteer with The Nature Conservancy at the spectacular coastal headland Cascade Head Preserve just north of Lincoln City, Oregon. While assisting with trail maintenance to help ensure people stay on the trail and off sensitive habitat, this team will explore how habitat preservation affects people past, present, and future. The trip fee of $175 covers transportation, lodging, fees, and most food.

Apply by January 24th for priority consideration. To apply and for more details visit . Questions? Email .

We will be holding two "info sessions" on Wednesday January 17th:

  • 12:30-1pm, SU 319
  • 5:30-7pm, Greensprings Lobby
Also- Save the Date for the summer break RAB experience! We will be sending a team of 14 to Guatemala to work with our long-time community partner De La Gente, for the "Fair Trade Coffee and Livelihoods in Guatemala" experience June 18-30. Application opens January 29th and the trip fee will be $1,300.

Volunteer Opportunities

Want to get involved? Volunteering looks great on a resume!
We have a diverse group of organizations on and off campus that need volunteers. Check out their upcoming and ongoing volunteer opportunities 

Upcoming Opportunities

Victim Services Volunteer Training with Community Works
Community Works is offering training January-February 2018 for volunteers to work with the following Victim Services volunteer positions: Children’s Program Volunteer, Courthouse Volunteer Advocate, Dunn House Shelter Advocate, HelpLine Volunteer Advocate, and Hispanic Services Volunteer. The Winter Victim Services Advocacy Training will be held January 20 & 21, & February 3 & 4. All Victim Services volunteer positions require completion of 40 hours of advocacy training, a criminal background check, and application. To register for their next training or make an appointment to learn more please contact David Ross, Victim Services Volunteer Coordinator, at 541-779-2393 ext. 212 or at

Ongoing Campus Opportunities

Schneider Museum of Art
You do not need an art background to become a volunteer at the Museum! Some ways to get involved include:
  • helping with events
  • making community contacts 
  • contributing program ideas
  • working the front desk
  • becoming a docent
  • conducting campus art tours, writing, photography, design projects, as well as routing office work and mailings.
Call museum staff at 541-552-6245 to find out more!

The Farm at SOU
The Farm is always looking for help with general farm work and education programming. Drop in volunteer days are every Friday 1:30 - 4:30 pm. Please wear appropriate clothing (closed toed shoes, work clothes), be prepared to get dirty, and have fun! If you are interested in learning more about farming or just want to get your hands dirty, get in touch at


Come join your student non-profit public interest research group work on issues that YOU care about. OSPIRG is working to stop the Pacific Connector Pipeline, making textbooks more affordable for students, and working to alleviate hunger and homelessness in our community.  OSPIRG offers weekly volunteer opportunities as well as student leadership development skills.  In other words, opportunities vary widely based on what it is you'd like to learn! Contact Chapter Chair Nina Friedman at for more information!

Ongoing Off-Campus Opportunities

Youth Mentor with Rose Circle Mentoring Network:
The Rose Circle Mentoring Network is a non-profit organization that trains adults to mentor youth ages 10-24. This can be in a one on one relationship or as a co-mentor of a circle of youth in schools and community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club. They have bi-annual trainings. The next one is in January of 2018. However, they encourage applications year-round and can place vetted mentors anytime on the agreement that they will attend the next scheduled training.
For more info, click here or contact Coriann Matthews at

Ashland Community Resource Center
The Ashland Community Resource Center helps low income people build better lives. By offering hope and access to social service resources, we encourage those in need on the path to self-sufficiency. Volunteering can look like: 
  • Working at the ACRC office-staff the phone, greet guests and support the other staffWorking directly with guests to help them solve their problems and find resources
  • Staffing the shower trailer where showers and laundry facilites are provided to homeless, or
  • Helping set up and manage their major fund raiser, the "Pasta with a Purpose" Dinner and the "Sleep Out" during the first week in November. 
For more information contact David Stoebel at

Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest
Public lands depend heavily on volunteers to carry out a variety of duties, including (but not limited to):
  • recreation site monitoring 
  • trail maintenance 
  • public outreach
  • wildlife monitoring
  • reporting site cleaning/maintenance, and trail usage data collection. 
Your talents and skills are matched with your work preference to obtain a role that satisfies you and best fulfills the mission of the Forest Service and USDA.  Find more information and be sure to fill out the Volunteer Service Application found here.
Want your volunteer opportunity featured in our newsletter?
Submit Here!

Civic Engagement Program News

Mt. Ashland Day Of Service
Thank you to everyone who took their time and volunteered during the 2nd annual SOU Mt. Ashland Day of Service September 30th. 155 members of the SOU community spent an amazing and beautiful Saturday helping Mt. Ashland Ski Area get ready for the upcoming season! It was a great day for our SOU community.

3rd Annual Volunteer Fair
On October 18th, 30 community organizations and SOU programs engaged with 160 students during the 3rd Annual Volunteer Fair! SOU students had the chance to explore various volunteering and internship opportunities with local community organizations like Jackson County Fuel Committee, Unite Oregon, Ashland Food Project, Ashland Parks & Recreation, Habitat For Humanity, Community Works, Ashland Independent Film Festival, American Red Cross, and more!

Make A Difference Day
Twenty-five student and community volunteers came together to celebrate Make A Difference Day, a national day of service, on October 29th! Students and community members split into small groups and spent a sunny Sunday helping the ECOS Community Garden and Ashland Emergency Food Bank prepare for the winter.

Social Justice Connection: Lunch With Unite Oregon
On November 15, 2017, SOU Civic Engagement Program hosted their first brown bag discussion of the term with guest speakers, Virginia Camberos and Nicthe Verdugo from Unite Oregon. Almost 20 students and staff enjoyed pizza while engaging Verdugo and Camberos on their organization and their path to social justice work.
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