The Pacific Index

Civic Engagement class helps make positive impact in community

Holly Bartholomew

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Pacific University is offering students the opportunity to help fight issues surrounding affordable housing over this winter term with the Action for Affordable Housing civic engagement class.

There are two sections of the course being offered simultaneously this year, one section is focusing more heavily on assisting the homeless population in downtown Portland, Ore., and the other is building houses in Beaverton, Ore., with Habitat for Humanity.

Stephanie Stokamer, the director of the Center for Civic Engagement, said she is using the class as an opportunity to teach students about the affordable housing crisis and why it is a problem both locally and in many other parts of the country.

According to an article printed by the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) in May 2017, 2.5 million Americans are evicted from their homes each year. Stokamer said one of the main goals of the class is to get students actively involved in conversations surrounding affordable housing and to help think of solutions to different issues.

“I want students to understand these housing issues on both an intellectual level and a personal one,” Stokamer said. “We all have to live somewhere, therefore housing can be a relevant issue for anybody. Especially for people coming out of college with debt and starting their careers at entry-level jobs.”

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Civic Engagement class helps make positive impact in community