For Wayne State University Student Senate President Stuart Baum, civic engagement is a long-standing passion. While his on-campus efforts have centered around voter registration and education, Baum ultimately aims to promote civic engagement as part of a broader, holistic lifestyle.
Baum, a junior public affairs major, has been recognized for his accomplishments around civic engagement, both on and off campus. His dedication and commitment to community has offered him the opportunity to be a fellow in the 2019-20 cohort of Newman Civic Fellow. Baum was nominated by Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long commitment starting this upcoming Fall. Participation in the fellowship includes monthly webinar trainings – featuring established instructors and speakers, one statewide gathering, and one nationwide gathering. Throughout the academic year Baum will also work with his on-campus mentor, Kevin Deegan-Krause, a political science instructor in the Honors College. The pair will meet quarterly to discuss the upcoming civic engagement projects Baum is working on, and work together to these ideas more efficient.
The Newman Civic Fellowship emphasizes personal, professional and civic growth for students who have shown exemplary efforts in those areas. The fellowship caters to students entering their senior year and provides learning and training, exclusive post-graduate networking opportunities, and resources aimed at furthering not only the trajectory of each fellow’s career, but also national civic engagement.
“Civic engagement is traditionally thought of as voting and running for office, [which is] a very limited view,” said Baum. “But civic engagement is a lot more broad than that, and that’s what I’m trying to bring to Wayne State.
Its voting, yes. Its running for office, yes. It’s getting involved in campaigns and making sure your voice is heard, but it’s also more than that. It’s about being involved in a community.”
Baum’s approach to civic engagement fueled his interest in the Newman Civic Fellows program, and he sees the fellowship as an opportunity to bring greater civic awareness to campus.
“It’s about recognizing what I’ve done already for this effort and then pairing me with the resources to capitalize and improve on that on campus.
I have a good experience of what works on Wayne State’s campus, and it works really well. We have one of the highest voting rates in the nation among universities who participate in studies on this topic.”
Although the voting participation on campus is impressive, Baum said he aims to make students feel more civically engaged on campus as well as in the Detroit community. Baum’s intends to use his opportunity as a Newman Civic Fellow to gather further training and resources as to how to improve upon what Wayne State is already doing, and what we could learn to go further.