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State To Salute Student Volunteers

State Senate/House To Salute Student Volunteers

Feb. 21, 2003 - On Monday, February 24, the Texas Legislature will present a joint resolution saluting the state's college and university student volunteers, and three Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) students will be in the gallery for recognition along with fellow student leaders from across the state.

Senator Florence Shapiro will sponsor the resolution in the Senate, and Representative Geanie Morrison will sponsor the resolution in the House. Shapiro is chair of the Senate Committee on Education, and Morrison chairs the Higher Education Committee in the House.

According to Senator Shapiro, "This is a tremendous group of college students committed to their communities through service and civic involvement across the State of Texas. I am proud to represent Collin County Community College and commend them on their excellence in service learning and social awareness, as well as the 40 colleges and universities statewide who are represented here today with these dynamic and thoughtful young people."

The resolution is a part of Student Civic Engagement Week, a nationwide effort to increase student involvement in public life sponsored by the National Campus Compact, a coalition of 860 college and university presidents committed to the civic purposes of higher education, and the Texas Campus Compact.

This student-led initiative encourages students to take action - from volunteering to voting. CCCCD students marked the occasion by organizing a "Sound-Off" forum in which students could exercise their rights to free speech discussing a wide range of subjects from gun control to war.

"Civic Engagement is a very important element of a rich and rounded education," said Cary A. Israel, president of the college. "We place a priority on civic engagement because students are voters and the future leaders of our country."

National Campus Compact recently honored CCCCD's program in a monograph on "exemplary practices related to civic engagement." The group cited only 20 of the nation's 1,200 community colleges in this publication, and CCCCD is the only Texas college to be included.

Studies have shown that the ages of 18-24 do not have the desire to be part of "politics", and research showed that 28% of 18-24 years voted in the 2000 election.

Collin County Community College District has experienced a 12 percent increase in enrollment over 2001 and anticipates serving more than 38,000 credit and continuing education students this year.