Forms and Policies

The Center for Social Concern and Homewood Student Affairs have created many policies that help provide framework and structure for the students who are involved in our programs. Below are the CSC online trainings and forms that we require of our volunteers and students who participate in our programs.

Have questions about these policies? Contact or (410) 516-4777.

Required Online Path Training

The Center for Social Concern is requiring all of its student volunteers to complete the Center for Social Concern 2019-2020 Student Training “Path” in Hopkins Groups by October 1, 2019. Should your student initiative fail to meet the terms outlined below, your student initiative will not be eligible for supplemental grant funding and your funding may be frozen for the spring semester. if you have any questions, please contact your CSC staff advisor immediately.

View Online Path Training

Deadline (October 1, 2019)

  • Your Hopkins Groups student organization roster must be updated by the deadline.
    • Every active member must be listed on your roster.
    • Anyone who is not participating with your student initiative, must be removed from your roster.
  • All members listed on your roster must complete the CSC Student Training Path by the deadline.

Deadline (October 15, 2019)

  • By October 15, if 20% of your student roster is still non-compliant, the student initiative will not be eligible for supplemental grant funding

Deadline (December 17, 2019)

Start Training


Background Checks and Fingerprinting

If your community partner requires these checks, you will need to have this done through an approved provider please contact the Center for Social Concern at or (410) 516-4777.

Branding Guidelines and Use of University and Iconography Policy

The use of the University name and iconography by student organizations is governed by the PDF Document: Homewood Student Affairs Branding Guidelines and JHU’s Office of Communication. Student Organizations that use “Johns Hopkins University”, “Hopkins”, or “JHU” in their name or incorporate JHU iconography in their logo are required to comply with the HSA Branding Guidelines. The staff at the Center for Social Concern will work with student organizations to manage this transition and provide assistance. PDF Document: Please review answers to Student Leadership and Involvement’s frequently asked questions or email with questions and concerns about this policy.

Cash Donations

All donations in the form of cash or checks should be taken to the Center for Social Concern for deposit within 3 business days. Student initiatives that collect cash donations should follow the steps below. As a reminder, student initiatives are not allowed to use Venmo, PayPal, Kickstarter, or similar platforms to conduct group business, including collecting donations for fundraisers.


  1. The group financial officer must first make a record of the total monies received.
  2. Take the money to the CSC for deposit. For cash deposits, please bundle the money separated by denomination. Please do not submit large quantities of coins.
  3. At the CSC, a receipt will be given for the deposit amount.

Child Safety in University Programs

JHU’s Online Child Safety Training

All students working with children should view JHU’s Child Safety in University Programs Policy and are responsible for upholding this policy.

Those students who are working with children under 18 years of age are required to complete JHU’s online child safety training prior to service. The training discusses your responsibilities of working with children. It will also provide best practices when working with children, describe the different types of child abuse, and JHU’s process of reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child.

To access the training:

  1. Log into myJHU and navigate to myLearning using the sidebar.
  2. Search in the catalog for “Training on the Safety of Children in University Programs”.
  3. Complete the training. It should take about 30 minutes.

Students who are working with children should refrain from being alone with a child. You are responsible to report known or suspected abuse or neglect. We hope this never occurs but should you learn of or suspect abuse or neglect, you should be vigilant and take immediate action. Proof of child abuse is not necessary to file a report of suspected abuse.

Many fear of making false reports, interfering in someone’s personal business, or causing a scene, and/or making the situation worse for the child. The best way to stop potential child abuse is to protect the child and report it. Don’t protect the abuser. A child’s life may depend on it.

Reporting Process

If you need to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child, you need to report it internally to the Office of the General Counsel and externally to Baltimore Child Protective Services within 48 hours of the incident. The Center for Social Concern can assist you with this process. For your reference, both offices contact information is listed below.

Office of the General Counsel
3400 N. Charles Street
Garland 113
Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
Phone: (410) 516-8128
Fax: (410) 516-5448

Baltimore Child Protective Services
1900 N. Howard Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 361-2235
Fax: (443) 423-7003 or -7002
After-hours Fax: (410) 423-5950

Fundraising Events and Philanthropy

Center for Social Concern student initiatives may hold fundraising events to benefit nonprofit organizations. However, student initiatives should be advised that such events tend to yield a very small final donation, especially considering the amount of planning and preparation that goes into making the event successful. We encourage our student initiatives to consider whether alternative methods of serving a community partner might be more beneficial.

CSC/France Merrick funds cannot be used for event expenses, such as food, venue rental, AV, security, facilities, etc., and related items. These expenses must be deducted from the event’s revenue. Thus, the final donation from the fundraiser will equal the ticket proceeds minus event expenses. To offset these costs, student initiatives may solicit outside fundraising to cover event expenses.

Approval Process

  1. The charity/organization must be approved by the CSC before proceeding with the fundraiser. We are unable to donate to international organizations unless they have a domestic partner who can receive the donation.
  2. Paperwork to get the charity/organization into the JHU vendor system (for payment purposes) must be completed before the event.
  3. An Event Outline must be submitted to the group’s CSC Staff Advisor at least three months prior to the event.

Student initiatives may borrow a J-Card reader for fundraising events from ID Card Services. student initiatives must abide by ID Card Services’ Loaner Equipment Agreement.

What do we do with our money?

For events that bring in cash, refer to the Cash Donation Policy above. All fundraiser cash and checks should be taken to the Center for Social Concern for deposit within 3 business days. As a reminder, student initiatives are not allowed to use Venmo, PayPal, Kickstarter, or similar platforms to conduct group business, including collecting donations for fundraisers.


All events must be registered at least 10 business days prior to your event. Your event will be denied if you submit an event less than 10 business days in advance. All student organization events, both on- and off-campus, are required to be registered in Hopkins Groups. Please visit the Student Leadership and Involvement website for more information to help you plan your event. Please visit the Event Registration and Sober Party Monitor Training Information page for information about registering off-campus events and parties.

Image and Photo Policy

The CSC prohibits volunteers from taking any images, including photos and video, of or with children, in connection with your volunteering activities. There are many privacy and safety concerns that are easily forgotten when it comes to taking photos and images of people without their permission. We take this policy seriously and prohibit students involved with the CSC’s programs from taking pictures of people or children.

The CSC and JHU realize that the work you are doing is engaging and impactful and in many cases, it provides you the opportunity to build strong bonds and meet new friends. When you work with the same people and/or children week after week, it’s hard not to build a friendship. We understand but you must remember that you don’t have the authority or right to take a picture of anyone without permission nor do you have the right to decide where their photo can be placed/shared (i.e.-social media, brochure, etc.).

We realize that you mean no harm. However, by taking and having a picture of a child in your possession, you are putting them at risk or in danger. What if the photo falls into the wrong hands of someone who does want to harm the child? What if the child and their family is in a witness protection program and should not be identified? What if a child is adopted and their biological parents are trying to locate them and harm them? By having and/or posting a picture of a child in a public forum, you are placing that child at risk. We realize these are drastic situations but point being is we don’t know any child’s situation nor can we make any assumptions of their situation. Any information or pictures shared online and/or in a public setting lasts forever and you have no control over where it goes and/or who has it which is why we prohibit students from taking any photos or images, in connection with your volunteering activities. If a student chooses to do so, it is at the student’s own discretion and JHU/CSC cannot advise the student in this process.

Home Visitations

The majority of the Center for Social Concern’s programs do not provide home visitations. However, if students need to visit someone’s home within the scope of your volunteering, there are safety protocols that need to be in place between you and your community partner prior to entering someone’s home.

Your supervisor should share their home visitation safety protocol policy with you and discuss an emergency plan and your itinerary (including the location of the home and estimated time of return). Your community partner should know where you are at all times and in case there is an emergency. There should be a plan in place prior to departing for a home visit. In addition, students should always be going to someone’s home in a pair if not a larger group, NEVER alone, and always with an employee of the Organization.

Home visitations are optional and you should never feel unsafe. If you have concerns about the work you are doing, you should discuss them with your organization and/or contact the Center for Social Concern immediately.

Reimbursement and Purchasing

We will no longer be able to reimburse students unless your reimbursement request has been pre-approved.

Purchasing Policy

  • ALL PURCHASES MUST BE PRE-APPROVED through Hopkins Groups.
    • This includes everything your group plans to spend your funding on—including groceries.
  • Transportation should be organized through HopVans or the new Lyft program.
    • We will no longer be able to reimburse students unless your reimbursement request has been pre-approved. Read more below.
  • Beginning fall 2018, we will be offering a prepaid debit card program to assist student initiatives who need to purchase items that are difficult to pre-pay by CSC staff (i.e. groceries).
    • The option to request this method will be live in the form shortly, but in the meantime, please select “Other” in the “Purchase Order Request Form” and upload a Word document describing the expenses you expect to incur and we will follow up with you to complete the purchase.
    • You should also use this form to start the process of ordering imprinted items like apparel, stickers, etc.
      • All items and logos must comply with the HSA Branding Guidelines and be approved by the Center for Social Concern
    • An important note re: Venmo/PayPal/Kickstarter and similar platforms—Student groups are not permitted to use these platforms to raise funds or conduct other transactions for their groups
    • ALL FOOD orders must be processed through Foodify or your advisor’s purchasing card. We are UNABLE to reimburse for catering orders. You can start the process of Foodify through the Purchasing Request Form.

Submit Purchase Request

Reimbursement Policy

  • We will no longer be able to reimburse students unless your reimbursement request has been pre-approved using the Student Organization Purchase Request Form.
    • PLEASE PLAN AHEAD to make sure you have sufficient time to complete your purchase.
    • The Purchase Request Form must be submitted 10 business days in advance of when you need the purchase.
    • Through this form, you can start the process of having the CSC order for you from Amazon and Office Depot, among other vendors.

Submit Reimbursement Request


Getting to your Community Partner Site

Volunteers may use public transportation. If a volunteer chooses to use their personal vehicle, be aware that the volunteer’s personal insurance will be primary coverage in the event that there is an incident. Under no circumstances, should you be driving any minors under the age of 18 at any time.

A benefit of where JHU is located and where our partners are located, is that in many instances, you can get around the city by walking (or even biking). If your community partner is too far from campus to walk or bike, you have other public transportation options:

You can always reserve CSC and HOP Vans through JHU Transportation Services. Use common sense when walking, waiting for the bus, or traveling on the bus. Be alert of your surroundings, don’t get distracted, and use common sense. Put down your cell phone, take your earbuds out and make eye contact with those around you. Campus Alerts reminds you of the same information.

Trip Policy

Overnight Trips

Any student initiatives who are going on overnight trips or conferences outside of the Baltimore area need to be approved by a CSC Staff Advisor at least 2 weeks in advance of the trip. If approved, a student group leader must submit the following documents:

Student group leaders should PDF Document: bring a copy of the CSC’s Travel Policies with them and get their CSC staff advisor’s contact information in case of emergency.

Other Trips

We understand that it’s important for some student initiatives to plan field trips with your community partners and we believe it’s important for the work that you are achieving. However, there are policies and protocols that need to be put in place before your trip can be approved. Each trip is reviewed on a case-by-case basis with CSC and applicable university staff. Additional paperwork may be required of the attendees and/or participants, depending on the trip or activity planned. Unfortunately, this process could take several weeks since multiple offices need to communicate. Please plan your trip several weeks in advance and work with the CSC staff to ensure that your trip is not delayed.

Website Policy

Student initiatives are not allowed to have websites or use a 3rd party to host a website. Student initiatives who need to recruit students or provide information to the public should use Hopkins Groups to post any necessary information that needs to be promoted. Hopkins Groups has the ability to post event information, pictures, current leaders, social media, group overviews, etc. It has similar functionality as a website and is a consistent way for student initiatives to recruit and promote your group and activities.