Skip to main content

Center for Civic Engagement

Get Involved

How to Become an Active, Involved Citizen
Students protest during 2016 election cycle on the Glenn Terrell Mall.

How are you going to work to make your community, state, country, and world a better place? There are many ways you can be an active citizen and many organizations you can connect with to get more involved. Check out the resources below for tips for staying involved and finding new ways to participate in our democracy.

For more ideas, check out our Active Citizenship Guide.

  • Rock the Vote!

    Voting is your way to influence our country's politics and laws and create the future you want to see. Often, voters feel like their vote doesn't matter, but there are many examples in US history where elections were won by only a few votes! For instance, in the 2004 race for governor in Washington, Christine Gregoire won by only 129 votes.

    Voting is also a right that many US citizens have fought hard for, so voting honors the sacrifices many men and women made to ensure you have the right to vote. Voting is not only your right but also your duty to honor the sacrifices of those who fought for your right.

    Use the links below to register to vote, sign up for text or email reminders about upcoming deadlines and elections, and look up your upcoming city, state, and national elections.

  • Contact Your Representatives

    Contact your representatives to make your opinions known! Let them know if you agree or disagree with their voting record and policy stances. You can write, call, fax, and email your representatives. Of these methods of contact, letter writing and calling tend to be the most effective.

    Below, you will find a letter writing guide and sites for looking up your representatives. You can also contact your local League of Women Voters, who will likely have local, state, and national contact information for your representatives.

  • Campus Involvement

    You can find a variety of student groups and organizations working on different issues at each WSU campus. If a group doesn't exist for your issue area, you can always start a new group too! There are also a number of programs on WSU campuses that focus on different issue areas, such as the Foley Institute, Multicultural Student Services, the Women's Resource Center, and GIESORC. Below, you can browse student groups on CougSync. Sign in using your WSU network ID and password, and if available, select "Student Involvement" or "Departments" under "Umbrellas".

  • Community Involvement

    Off campus there are even more opportunities to get involved in the issues that are most important to you. You can volunteer with organizations that align with your values, join political parties, and organize for various groups.

    Below you will find the CCE's current nonprofit partners map which can help you find volunteer opportunities in your area. As a public university, the CCE is not affiliated with political organizations, though, so you will need to search for these opportunities elsewhere. Tips for finding these organizations are listed below.

  • Finding Local Political Groups

    • Find Local Political Parties: To find a political party in your city or county, search for the party and your city and state online.
    • Find Other Organizations: There are also many other community groups that may work toward progressing your causes, and asking your local political parties, local government officials, and your local League of Women Voters about these groups is often the best way to find them. For place based campuses, often departments will have connections with a variety of community groups that work within the same issue areas.
    • Church Groups: Many church groups also hold discussion events and organize demonstrations, so if you are a member of a church, asking about these opportunities is another great way to get involved.