BYU, Provo City and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provide many opportunities for individuals around Provo to improve their communities on the local, state and even national levels.
Richard Davis, director of BYU’s Office of Civic Engagement, said it is the responsibility of citizens to create the community they want to live in.
“Our communities are our shared experiences as people,” Davis said. “We need to make them better, and the process of involvement for the good of others makes us better at the same time. How well our communities reflect our values is dependent upon us. Civic engagement is the rent we pay for living in society.”
Provo City has made an increased effort to provide opportunities for community members to help contribute to their community, no matter what ideas an individual believes in.
Deputy Mayor Corey Norman believes there are plenty of civic engagement opportunities for any person willing to stand up.
“Provo has a very active bicycle committee for those interested in various forms of transportation,” Norman said. “Our local United Way is one of the best in the country. The Provo Parks and Recreation Department is always looking for volunteers. And for many who enjoy law enforcement, we have a fantastic volunteer program along with mobile watch.”
BYU also supports many student-run clubs that advocate civic engagement, including clubs with political ideologies, such as the BYU College Democrats and BYU College Republicans.
Alison Romano, president of the BYU College Democrats Club, said being part of this club has fine-tuned her beliefs and continues to shape her political identity.
“I find its appeal to be in the way that it provides a safe space for students to explore politics and ideologies without criticism,” Romano said. “We have students of all political affiliations that come to our club to discuss and debate issues they find interesting.”
Attending clubs focused on civic engagement helps BYU students prepare for a future full of civic engagement.
Members of the BYU College Republican Club recently assisted in a phone bank for Congresswomen Mia Love. Now with elections finished, the College Republicans plan to invite election representatives to the BYU campus to speak with students.
Vanessa Oler, communications director for the BYU College Republicans Clubs, said the connections made within these clubs will further prepare her and others for future political involvement and civic engagement.
“As with any professionally-geared extracurricular activities on campus, the connections made in the BYU College Republicans Club can provide a foundation network for any future involvement,” Oler said. “Being a student and a member of an official organization opens doors that you could not open yourself through cold-contacting.”