Students don’t always know how to influence social change. The Gephardt Institute for Public Service and the Political Science Department have collaborated to offer a one credit spring semster course that shows how to turn caring into action.
Just Do It! Turning Your Passion into Policy (L32 227) gives WUSTL undergraduates the opportunity to learn practical skills for tracking legislation, building coalitions, fostering advocacy skills and more.
Additionally, it serves as a great way for student to learn about political rights and responsibilities. Students engage in dialogue, enact mock testimonials for seasoned community members, and learn how to be an effective player in the policy process. The class is taught by Tom J. Irwin, executive director of Civic Progress and graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
“The class really encourages students to apply what they learn to whatever their interests or passions are,” said Peter Birke, a student in 2011 and teaching assistant for 2012. “Students learn how to understand opposing viewpoints, weigh the ethics of different decisions, and present their opinions succinctly. These skills go beyond the politics of policy making- they can be tools for a life of civic engagement.”