What is the difference between being Civically Engaged and Volunteering?

As I was introducing the Center for Civic Engagement to my fellow students, I was recently asked by them – What does being “civically engaged” really mean? Is it just another fancy word for volunteering or is there more to it?

Civically Engaged individuals are those who care about what’s going on around them and they take action to indicate this. There are many area’s that one can get involved in, but a recent report states there are five categories of civic participation. 

  • Political Action
  • Participation in group
  • Connecting to information (news/current events)
  • Social connectedness
  • Service

Service is the key point in this question. This could entail volunteering but this is only a small part of being civically engaged.  This is only one fraction of being civically engaged, there is so much more! 

One of the aspects that I love about Hofstra University is that they give their students so many opportunities to be civically engaged. The Center for Civic Engagement is only one of the outlets, but upon further research one could get involved in so many other ways. Take that step and find out what there is out there!

What will you do to be civically engaged?

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