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ASU students bring campus safety campaign ideas to national conference

portraits of ASU students Emily Barney and Lauren Bacon
September 22, 2014

Arizona State University students Emily Barney and Lauren Bacon will travel to Harvard University later this month as part of a national effort fostering youth political engagement. They will join four-dozen other students, Sept. 27-28, at Harvard’s Institute of Politics for “Bipartisan Advocacy: Finding Common Ground,” an intensive training and conference featuring top political practitioners.

Barney is a sophomore studying public service and public policy with a minor in criminology and concentration in law in the College of Public Programs. Bacon is a junior studying English linguistics, philosophy, Italian and TESOL in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Both are also students in Barrett, the Honors College.

Led by the College of Public Programs, ASU joined the Harvard Institute of Politics’ National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement last year. The consortium of 25 colleges and universities around the country work on their own campuses and collaboratively in three key areas: establishing an ongoing relationship with electoral politics, focusing on career development in public service, and ensuring a foundation in civic engagement.

At the annual conference, students from National Campaign schools will arrive with a working plan to tackle a policy issue in their communities and on their campuses.

Barney and Bacon chose campus sexual assault prevention and response as their policy issue. The pair notes that there are a number of organizations on campus working on this issue, and they hope to bring these organizations together along with ASU’s Changemaker Central to create a strong collaborative effort.

For their project, they plan to prepare a video that can be shared with other universities to help promote campus safety nationwide. They will also organize two events at ASU – one on the Tempe campus and one on the Downtown Phoenix campus – as a way to educate students on the statistics of sexual assault, how to recognize signs and how to be prepared.

"The IOP (Institute of Politics) is honored to host dozens of students from across the country who share our belief that politics and public service are a force for good to improve our communities," says Maggie Williams, director of the Harvard institute. "The IOP’s National Campaign conference and training will help foster political engagement, both here at Harvard and at campaign schools throughout the nation."

Both Barney and Bacon are already active participants working to affect change in the community. Among their many endeavors, Barney recently spent the summer interning with Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, and is an ASU Vote Everywhere Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, for which she promotes voter rights and civic engagement as a mechanism of creating a peaceful, just and sustainable world. Bacon has taught in Ghana, West Africa, as part of the Global Volunteer Network and is a member of the Spirit of Service Scholars Program, which prepares the next generation of public service professionals to be transformational leaders.

“Our students embrace the notion that what affects one of us affects all of us, and in so doing, develop and promote innovative solutions that build strong communities,” says Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs. “We engage students early in opportunities to put their ideas to work through strong ties to local and global partners.”

Conference updates can be followed on Twitter, using the hashtag #NAC4Change. Several of the conference’s Saturday sessions will be livestreamed on the institute’s website, at

For more information on the National Campaign, visit