Civic Engagement – 4/10

From student government to local volunteerism, to activism on a global scale, we bring you stories of people who care!

The movie Fight Club came out when I was a freshman in high school, and it was a sensation among disaffected teenagers. Coming on the heels of the grunge years, it was established that in the early 2000’s being cool meant disenchantment with the “system” – a sort of nihilistic rejectionism. Everything was terrible, but there was no point trying to fix it. Then, as I graduated college, this guy named Obama ran for president – and everything was different. Suddenly the youth were hopeful, idealistic, getting involved in politics as opposed to dismissing the broken system en toto. The fact was: caring had become cool. On this episode of Ad Astra Radio we present stories of civic engagement, sampling regular students’ thoughts on Student Senate elections, talking about the annual volunteer date The Big Event, and hearing from a volunteer-turned-professional activist about his personal journey.


But first, your regular local events updates!

April 10 Arts Update with Jason Barr

 April 10 Comedy Update with Peter Lyrene and Chance Dibben


The Big Event

Every year thousands of KU students, faculty and staff gather for a community-wide day of service called The Big Event. This year the Big Event went volunteers to hundreds of different work sites across the Lawrence area. Reporter Laura Tiffany spoke to Big Event representative Brianna Leiker about the organization. To learn more go to 


Student Senate Impressions

We’re all aware that the Student Senate is out there, and every spring the sidewalks blossom with colorful chalk reminders of who’s running on what coalitions. But for many students preoccupied with the daily grind of class, work, and a social life, it’s easy to lose track of who the Senate really is. Patrick McFarland and Adam Drovetta headed out onto campus to get regular student’s impressions on the Student Senate elections. (For a more in-depth look at the topic of the Senate check out Beth Fentress’ story from last week.)


Raise Hope for Africa

In our final story on community involvement, reporter Valerie Peterson sat down with visiting speaker J.D. Stier, who was at KU as a guest of Alternative Spring Breaks to talk about a career that’s taken him from local volunteerism to international activism. In this segment he recounts the process that’s brought him here and speaks to how college students can think about their next big step.

Written by Scott Ross. Tune into Ad Astra Radio the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 7pm on KJHK 90.7fm.