The Kernodle Center for Civic Life looks forward to an engaging fall 2022 semester

The Kernodle Center for Civic Life announces service opportunities available for students during the fall 2022 semester.

Going into the fall semester, the Kernodle Center for Civic Life has planned a series of engaging events throughout the year. Kyle Anderson, associate director of the Kernodle Center, said that after two years of maneuvering through COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, students and community partners are excited to get fully involved again.

“Compared to the last two years, our partners who can host students are excited to do that again. We haven’t heard much about any partners who are closed down or not taking students, which was the case two years ago. So, I know our partners throughout the country are excited to have students for volunteer opportunities,” Anderson said.

Elon students participate in a Habitat for Humanity build.

One of the main programs of the semester is the Get on the Bus opportunities which take students to one of Elon’s many community partners for a chance to engage in service. The first Get on the Bus event is this Friday, Sept. 16 with the Boys and Girls Club of Alamance County. Elon students will have the opportunity to volunteer with Phoenix 4th Friday in downtown Burlington, Peacehaven Community Farm in Whitsett and CityGate Dream Center.

Students who registered for the Get on the Bus opportunities will meet at the bus stop outside of the Belk Library on North O’Kelly Drive to check and take a campus bus to the volunteer destination. Registration for each Get on the Bus opportunity can be found here.

The K.I.N.G. (Keep Inspiring the Next Generation) Mentoring Academy is an existing weekly mentoring program from the Mayco Bigelow Community Center that Elon has begun to support. The collaboration from Elon includes the Kernodle Center, CREDE, GLC and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The first gathering of the semester will be Thursday, Sept. 22. The program, designed for boys aged nine through 13, will pair an Elon student mentor with each student and will engage in leadership, life skills, STEM and recreational activities.

“We’re always looking for ways we can engage more male-identified students on campus, so we got together in the spring and it’s going great so far,” Anderson said.

In years past, as part of its civic engagement efforts, the Kernodle Center for Civic Life has co-sponsored presidential debate watch parties.

Another significant program is the Active Citizen Series which will include a Deliberative Dialogue event on Monday, Sept. 26 at Lakeside 212 on the topic of policing and what should be done to ensure fair treatment. Deliberative Dialogues are a chance for the Elon community to gather and exchange diverse views and experiences to seek a shared understanding of a challenge facing society as well as a common ground for action. Advance registration for this event is required and can be made here.

The Dialogue series will also have considerable backing after being awarded a Student Dialogue Ambassador Grant from North Carolina Campus Engagement, a collaborative network of higher education institutions committed to educating students for civic and social responsibility.

Anderson said the grant allows the Kernodle Center to add more student coordinators and launch a series of new dialogue opportunities.

“We’re still developing … but we’re excited to look at opportunities to expand dialogue. One of the issues we see in our office is folks who have different views on things not talking with each other. Creating accessible dialogues that are set up intentionally to create space for people to talk is something we want to create more space for,” Anderson said.

Other highlights for the upcoming semester include the Alternative Break opportunities, Special Olympics competitions in bowling and bocce, the Elon Buddies program and the weekly Campus Kitchen, among many other opportunities.

The Elon Volunteers! Fall 2022 Calendar has a full list of volunteer opportunities with hyperlinks to register for each event.