“Without common ideas, there is no common action, and without common action men still exist, but a social body does not. Thus in order that there be society, and all the more, that this society prosper, it is necessary that all the minds of the citizens always be brought together and held together by some principle ideas.”
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Run by UVM’s Center for Research on Vermont in coordination with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the program offers two different ways for students to contribute to civic infrastructure:
- Interning directly with town offices and organizations
Student interns are matched with towns across Vermont (in all 14 counties) to provide communications support to local governments to expand access, transparency, and accountability in local decision-making.
The mission: Make information about public life and local governance accessible to all, more welcoming to historically excluded Vermonters and representative of our increasingly diverse state.
- Reporting for the Community News Service
UVM’s Community News Service pairs student reporters with professional editors to provide high-caliber, hyperlocal content to trusted community news outlets across Vermont at no cost to the papers.
The mission: Ensure that every community in Vermont has access to hyperlocal reporting and trustworthy information while supporting a sustainable model for local news outlets.
Internships will take place in a hybrid model; on-campus, flexible co-working spaces will be provided for students who want to work with other interns and the program leader in-person, but some work can be done remotely. Students are expected to visit the towns they are working with at least three times throughout the semester.
Time commitment: Students are expected to complete 120 hours of work for their community partner project (which is arouns 8-10 hours per week). This program is designed to match the amount of work required of a typical academic course.
What is "Civic Infrastructure"?
Civic Infrastructure is the processes and practices that support a healthy democracy. It’s all the ways that we stay informed, communicate with our neighbors, and solve common problems together.
From trustworthy sources of local news to transparency in municipal governance and opportunities for collaboration, this is the scaffolding of public life…
… and it’s essential for thriving communities.