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New Center for Civic Engagement

September 13, 2011

Ana Kakkar
New Center for Civic Engagement

This year, Claremont McKenna College welcomes the new Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), which serves as a replacement and an expansion upon the previous Community Service Center. The new center hopes to help “educate students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership,” says program director Amy Bibbens. Bibbens hopes to focus on three levels of service - community, national, and international - and communicate their importance to the CMC community.

The Annenberg foundation provided most of the $180,000 set aside for the CCE this year. This money is expected to cover the staff salaries, the creation of an alternative spring break trip, student internships, Athenaeum speakers, service trips, and a service themed WOA! trip.

Bibbens has high hopes for many of the new programs slated for the year. One new program is an alternative spring break trip.  The alternative trip  is a new option for students to spend their break traveling and performing community service trips. Similarly, Bibbens plans on offering a WOA! trip which would allow incoming freshman to opt into performing service instead of current options like hiking, camping, and surfing. She also wants the new center to work as a liaison between students and organizations in the area, allowing students to perform service with their dorms and sports teams.

The CCE replaces the old Community Service Center, which was not as robustly funded, and was not able to support new initiatives like the ones mentioned above. Among the other key changes is the installment of Bibbens as a full time director, whereas the Community Service Center staffed only part time employees. Until her transition to the CCE, Bibbens worked in the Public Affairs Office.

Bibbens will also sit on the sustainability committee with Brian Worley, where she envisions her role will be to “find ways to get more students to engage in sustainability issues on campus.” With her involvement in the committee she hopes to add to programs with new focuses to the service offerings on campus.

Bibbens is fresh on the job, having just started on September 1st. Still, she hopes for a highly successful first year.

The CCE is currently hiring student assistants to help develop the programming for the year. There will be more information to come on job opportunities, service projects and other programs through the center.

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