The Public Good at DU

Written by Brenna Flynn, WLLC 2015-2016

The article “A Case Study of Institutional Visioning, Public Good, and the Renewal of Democracy: The Theory and Practice of Public Good Work at the University of Denver” provides differing definitions as to what the “public good” actually is. At first, this article discusses the public good in definitional terms. It states that “when faculty and staff at DU refer to ‘the public good,’ they are often thinking about using University resources to augment civil society, strengthen social capital networks, and create public spaces for deliberation and decision making” (pg. 89). Although I know that the different projects we’re assisting in for our Wellness class have an impact the public good, I did not believe that this definition exactly explained the public good in the right context for our projects. Upon further reading, I saw the public good defined as “the intellectual and relational engagement with critical community issues and community members” (89). To me, this definition appeared to hit what my group is doing for the public good head on.

Currently, I’m working with CAPE to attempt to provide student-related feedback as to how sexual assault can be better prevented on campus. Sexual assault at DU is indeed a critical community issue. For instance, there have been various reports about sexual assault on campus this year alone, not to mention all of the sexual assaults that go unreported.   My project in working with CAPE also engages members of the DU community. My group’s goal at the end of the quarter is to have a report written about how DU can improve BOSS training, through using student feedback. Not too long ago, at the Consent Carnival, we obtained student feedback as to how they would handle certain situations regarding sexual assault. CAPE will use this information to provide future students with examples of ways in which current students handle different situations that could result in sexual assault. Also, in this way, we are bettering the community by bringing awareness to the issue of sexual assault on campus, as well as possibly preventing future sexual assaults from occurring. Overall, this project contributes to the public good as a whole by informing the DU community of an issue the campus faces quite often.

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