Posted on October 29, 2021 in Uncategorized,
Fall 2021 | By Nicole Dudenhoefer ’17
Serving jury duty. Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Running for public office. Celebrating your 18th birthday by casting your first ballot. Mounting an American flag above your front porch. Making your voice heard at protests and marches. Whether it’s all these actions, a combination of some or something more, what makes an engaged citizen?
The answer — according to experts from UCF’s Lou Frey Institute, an organization dedicated to promoting civic education and action — is rooted in a simple, guiding principle: Engaged citizens are knowledgeable about their country’s history and current events.
“The first important thing is to become knowledgeable about the system in which we live,” says Terri Susan Fine, associate director for the institute and a professor in UCF’s School of Politics, Security and International Affairs. “Knowledge should come before action so that a person knows why they’re acting, what they’re acting about, what the policy options are and what the government response options are before they take action.”
“We have the right as citizens to engage with our leaders, and it’s important that we practice that at the college level and [beyond].”Stephen Masyada, director of UCF’s Lou Frey Institute