Inauguration Event Calls for More Civic Engagement

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2009) –The University of South Florida Marshall Student Center in Tampa will be the scene of a gathering to watch coverage of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.  Screens throughout the center will carry the telecast of the inauguration.  Refreshments will be served in the ballroom.  But everyone present will be asked to do more than sit and watch.


“We will be asking interested students, faculty and staff to sign the “Declaration of Service” at the event which can be found at,” said Jennifer Espinola, director of the USF Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement, the sponsor of Tuesday’s event.  “Copies will be available for everyone to sign and we’ll also inform people about how our Center can assist them with all their service interests.”


Along with the staff of the Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement, the Public Research Interest Group will discuss ways students can volunteer their time and energy on campus and in the community.  Attendees also will be asked to write on a “Yes We Can” can – a piece of paper shaped like a can where each person can write their hopes for the new administration and what they are willing to commit to doing themselves to further progress in America.  A display will be created.


In addition, several political and activist student organizations will have table displays and materials to pass out to interested students.  The College Democrats will sponsor a “photo opportunity” with a life-size replica of Barack Obama.


 “We are excited to host this event as a celebration of leadership and public service,” Espinola said.  “Regardless of anyone’s participation in the election process, we hope that our entire university community can embrace the inauguration of our new President and all that it stands for.  The Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement strives to help each student become effective, ethical leaders who serve as engaged citizens and we sponsor this event to inspire us all to continue active participation in our communities.”


Doors open at 10 a.m.  Television coverage of pre-Inauguration events will be shown as well as the full ceremony. 


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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