Student Initiatives

The Center for Social Concern advises and supports over 50 student initiatives performing direct service in partnership with community based organizations across Baltimore City. These groups are entirely student-led and dedicated student leaders invest hundreds of hours annually into ensuring the continued operations and successes of these vital community programs. Continue reading below.

The Center also has a network of student interns who are instrumental in helping support the CSC’s initiatives and programs. Learn more about these positions by visiting our leadership opportunities page and meet some of our student leaders too!

Overview

As our student group network has grown, the variety and scope of student group service activities has diversified tremendously. To better support our students, we have restructured our student group program into three different student initiatives:

  1. Student Groups
  2. Event Based Service Programs (more information coming soon)
  3. Baltimore First Individualized Direct Service Program

By creating these three different initiatives, it allows the CSC to better support and meet the needs of our students and community partners, offers more tailored advising support, and enhances student initiative funding. Students interested in starting a new initiative, have the ability to submit an annual proposal. Read more below about starting a new student initiative.

To determine which initiative you fit into or how this affects your 2017-2018 student group, read the descriptions below or visit our frequently asked questions now. If these opportunities don’t catch your eye, learn more about other CSC’s programs to see how you can get involved and engage with fellow students and our community.

Have questions? Contact Caroline Ouwerkerk, Assistant Director, Center for Social Concern.

Student Initiatives

New student initiative proposals, ongoing student initiatives, and all funding allocations will be approved, assessed, and evaluated by the Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission. The Commission consists of 7 members: 5 student commissioners and 2 CSC staff members. View members of the 2018 Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission on the CSC’s leadership opportunities page.

All student initiatives are required to follow the Center for Social Concern’s policies and procedures and log their service hours through Track it Forward. The commission will strive to increase student input and enhance transparency in the student initiative recognition and funding process. Students interested in joining the Commission can view the position description and application process by visiting the Leadership Opportunities section of our website. Click on each item below to determine which initiative you fit into and how this affects your current student group.

Student Initiative Descriptions

Student GroupEvent-Based Service ProgramBaltimore First Individualized Direct Service Site
Who?All groups that perform regular group-based direct service to the Baltimore communityAll groups that perform group-based direct service through the development and execution of semesterly or annual eventsIndividuals or groups of individuals who participate in a direct service commitment with a specific service site in the Baltimore community
What do we expect?

  • Primary Function- direct service
  • On-campus presence through general meetings, social events, and issue education
  • Attend all trainings, comply with reporting requirements, and exhibit sound fiscal management

  • Primary Function--organizing events whose primary beneficiary is an off-campus population
  • Events align with group's mission and are demonstrated to provide services and/or benefits
  • Comply with reporting requirements and exhibit sound fiscal management

  • Commit to regular direct service to a community partner/service site for a semester or school year
  • Likely be in small groups/cohorts
  • Attend required trainings and reflections by the CSC
What will service look like?

  • Maintain consistent and active volunteer membership. “Active membership” defined by group
  • Primary volunteer effort is strong direct service responding to a community-identified need
  • No (or few) fundraisers/awareness events
Primary work of group is planning and executing events (no service in interim) responding to a community-identified needService activities driven by demonstrated partner need; with each volunteer making a semester-long commitment to one service site
What will we provide?Assigned advisor, funding, and office supportAssigned advisor, funding, and office supportSite leader, group reflection,and transportation
What will you learn?Strong direct service; Reflection; Student group organization and volunteer managementEvent planning, fundraising, volunteer managementSustained strong direct service, reflection, meaningful community partnerships

How will these initiatives affect my current 2017-2018 CSC student group?

As outlined in the student initiative descriptions above, all student groups are required to determine which student initiative they fit into (eg. Student Groups, Event Based Service Programs, or Baltimore First Individualized Direct Service Site) and must re-register annually. All student groups currently recognized by the Center for Social Concern are eligible to continue as a CSC recognized group, provided they complete the relevant re-registration process and meet the outlined expectations in the student initiative descriptions above. Funding allocations will be determined by specific student initiative in consultation with the Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission.

During the March 2018 annual re-registration period, held from March 1 – April 1, student group leaders will identify as an initiative. This will determine the group’s advising support, expectations, and funding opportunities for the 2018-19 academic year.

The following options are also available:

  • Re-categorize
    • For groups whose primary mission/area of interest differs from CSC expectations
    • Transfer of recognition status is subject to approval by the receiving recognition entity
  • Discontinue
    • No groups are being asked to discontinue, however, this is always an option for student groups who have determined that their group is no longer viable.
    • Each year, several groups decide to discontinue and not re-register. In certain circumstances, CSC staff may advise that a group formally discontinue if it is deemed that the project is no longer viable due to community partner interest/requirements.

Re-registration form questions will vary depending on which initiative the group chooses and groups will be expected to detail how they meet the criteria for their chosen initiative.

Transitional Support

The CSC understands that student groups may need assistance during this transition period. To support students in determining the appropriate initiative, Center for Social Concern staff will be offering open office hours until the end of the spring 2018 semester.

Office Hours

Location: Brody Café
Days: Tuesday and Wednesday
Time: 1-3pm

If you can’t make it then and want to schedule an appointment, email volunteer@jhu.edu. It is expected that at least two officers from each group meet with a CSC staff member, prior to re-registering in March.

Guidelines for Summer Service

We realize that some student initiatives continue service during the summer. To help support your continued work, we have created some guidelines below. Please contact Caroline Ouwerkerk if you have any additional questions about your summer service.

View Guidelines

Thank you for your continued commitment to our community! The following guidelines are in place for student initiatives during the summer period.

Timeline Overview:
Summer 2018: May 14 through August 14
Academic Year Period: August 15, 2018 through May 3, 2019
Summer 2019: May 15 through August 15

  • During the summer period 2018, expenses for CSC student initiatives will be charged to a special “CSC Summer Service” account. Individual initiative budgets will not be charged for summer expenses. Note that students should not charge this account for any academic year period expenses.
  • Summer 2019 expenses will be requested by groups as part of their 2019-2020 Annual Allocations request

Summer 2018 Guidelines:

  • During summer 2018, the CSC will process purchase requests only. Purchase requests may be submitted through this form on Hopkins Groups or click the blue button below.
  • The CSC strongly discourages students from acquiring out of pocket expenses, and thus reimbursement requests will only be processed when students have gotten pre-approval or in the event of an emergency.
  • Groups should use the Lyft program and HopVans in order to have transportation expenses directly billed to the CSC. In addition, there are free transportation options (the Charm City Circulator and the JHMI) that continue to run throughout the summer.
  • As a reminder, CSC funding comes from an endowment that is restricted only to expenses related to direct service in Baltimore City. CSC’s and Student Leadership and Involvement’s normal policies and procedures regarding purchases—with exception of reimbursement procedures—are still in effect.
  • Volunteers should continue to log their service hours through Track it Forward. Track it Forward is the university’s official record of student volunteer hours.

Submit Summer Service Purchase Request

Interested in Starting a New Student Initiative?

We are excited for your interest in proposing a new CSC student initiative! New student initiative proposals will be accepted annually and we will begin accepting new initiative proposals from March 1 to March 16 from students interested in starting a new Student Group, Event-Based Service Program, or Baltimore First Individualized Direct Service Site. The Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission will be responsible for evaluating new student initiative proposals and determining which initiatives will be recognized for the 2018-19 academic year. The Commission will invite selected initiatives to present to the Commission before making a final decision. See the timeline below for more important dates to consider.

In addition, before submitting a new student initiative proposal we encourage you to take a look at the questions below of things to consider.

View Next Steps for Starting a New Student Initiative

List of Questions for:

Feel free to send any questions regarding this process to volunteer@jhu.edu.

New Student Group Proposals

Thinking about proposing a new CSC student group?

Here’s what you should consider:

Step 1: Take some time to examine the mission of and need for your student group, both at Hopkins and within the Baltimore community.

  • What will your group do? Why do you do it?
  • What community-identified need motivates the creation of this group?
  • Why is your mission best fit to be worked towards in a group-based setting rather than an individualized direct service site?
  • How will your group be different from current student organizations with similar purposes?
  • Which community partner do you plan to work with? How will your group support them?

Step 2: Consider what you would like the student base of your group to look like, in terms of student volunteers and group officers.

  • Do you have potential officers in mind? What skills, interests, and prior experiences do they have which would benefit the goals and functioning of the group?
  • How will officer duties be broken up? How will you ensure officer accountability?
  • How will you recruit students? What should potential members know about group expectations?

Step 3: Think about how your group can be most successful in both the short- and long-term, and what kinds of support you will need to reach that success.

  • What are some of your group’s goals for the upcoming school year? This can include both immediate and long-term goals.
  • How will you evaluate the success of your group? Will you conduct surveys, interviews, etc. with your student volunteers? Will you have open conversations with your community partner about how to best improve your group’s service?
  • What are your expectations of support from the CSC? How specifically would you like to be supported by your CSC advisor and the Group Management team?

New Event Based Service Program Proposals

Are you proposing a new CSC event based service program?

Here’s what you should consider:

Step 1: Take some time to examine the mission of and need for your event-based service program, both at Hopkins and within the Baltimore community.

  • What will your program do? Why do you want to do it?
  • What community-identified need motivates the creation of this service program?
  • Why is your mission best fit to be worked towards in an event-based setting?
  • Which community partner(s) do you plan to work with, and how do you believe your service program can support its partner?
    • Remember: service programs will not be able to serve or receive funding unless their community partner signs a Memorandum of Understanding. If you have questions about MOUs, please email volunteer@jhu.edu.
    • Proposed community partners should be those which are already approved to work with CSC student volunteers or those willing to sign an MOU.

Step 2: Think about what you want your event(s)-based service to look like.

  • What kind of event(s) will be taking place? When?
  • What would be a possible timeline for planning and event preparation?
  • Who is the audience of your event(s)? How will you reach out to and communicate with this audience?
    • Will you have minors present at your event(s)? If so, you will need to work with CSC staff to follow CSC risk management procedures. Contact volunteer@jhu.edu if you have any specific questions about your event(s).
  • How will you ensure that civic engagement components remain at the forefront of any planning and facilitation of event(s)?
  • Does the planned event meet a community-identified need in a way that is both appropriate and beneficial for the community?

Step 3: Consider what you would like to the student base of your service program to look like, in terms of student volunteers and group officers.

  • Do you have potential officers in mind? What skills, interests, and prior event-planning experiences do they have which benefit the goals and functioning of the service program?
  • How will officer duties be broken up? How do you plan to ensure officer accountability?
  • How will you recruit students to join your group? What should potential members know in terms of group expectations?

Step 4: Think about how your service program can be most successful in both the short- and long-term, and what kinds of support you will need to reach that success.

  • What are some of your service program’s goals for the upcoming school year? This can include both immediate and long-term goals.
  • How will you evaluate the success of your service program? Will you conduct surveys, interviews, etc. with your student volunteers? Will you have open conversations with event participants about how to best improve your event(s) in the future?
  • What are your expectations of support from the CSC? How specifically would you like to be supported by your CSC advisor and the Group Management team?

New Baltimore First Individualized Service Site Proposals

Thinking about proposing a new Baltimore First site?

Here’s what you need to know:

Step 1: Take some time to research and understand the vision and mission of the community partner(s) you plan to include in your proposal.

  • What is the community partner’s vision and/or mission? Recall: while a vision describes the organization’s hopes and dreams for the future or the WHY, a mission is the philosophical expression of HOW the organization meets the community’s needs.
  • What specific social issue(s) does the community organization address (e.g. food insecurity, homelessness, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigrant justice, etc.)?
  • How do you intend to build a consistent, reciprocal relationship with the community partner? If you have already built this relationship, please explain how you have done so and why you are interested in joining Baltimore First.

Step 2: Consider what a typical volunteer experience at your service site would look like.

  • What will be the expectations of Baltimore First volunteers working with this community partner? Consider what specific tasks will be assigned to volunteers and how tho completion of said tasks will be support the overall vision and mission of the community partner as articulated above.
  • Think about necessary time commitment for service (including specific days and times during the week) and how volunteers will be best equipped (or trained) to offer this support.

Step 3: Think about how this service relates to community-identified need(s) in the Baltimore community and/or the needs of the community partner(s).

  • What is/are the community-identified need(s) to which your service would relate?
  • Who makes up your target audience(s)? Consider any additional stakeholders that may not be directly impacted by your service, but are a part of the community.
  • What gaps in services and/or programming exist? How will JHU volunteers (as opposed to other volunteer groups or local labor) support the community partner in filling these gaps, ultimately supporting your target audience(s)?

Students interested in proposing a new group off-cycle will have to meet with CSC’s Associate Director to talk through potential project ideas. They will not be allowed to become an initiative until the official proposal period. Students interested in serving with an existing CSC partner may do so as individual volunteers before making a formal proposal, but with the understanding that the Commission reserves the right to reject their new initiative proposal. Students proposing to serve with a non-CSC partner will not be able to serve until they go through the official proposal process, as new community partners will need to work with CSC staff on developing a Memorandum of Understanding. A list of CSC’s current partners can be found on the CSC website. Continue reading below about assessment and funding, along with important dates to consider.

Assessment Process

Student Initiative Assessment Processes

The Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission will work with CSC staff and interns to assess the quality of initiative based on the publicized specific criteria and corresponding evaluation rubrics set out for each initiative here. These criteria will be assessed through the Commission’s review of written reports (e.g. the current Mid-Year and End-of-Year Reports) and in person evaluations (such as presentations by potential new group officers to the Commission).

Initiatives will be expected to meet the minimum criteria provided as outlined in the student initiatives descriptions above. CSC staff and interns will work with the officers of each student initiative to support them through making any needed adjustments and will give them the resources they need to be successful. In cases where an initiative is unable or unwilling to meet minimum standards within a semester of an initial notification, the Commission, in consultation with CSC’s leadership, reserves the right to discontinue a student initiative.

Funding

Beginning with the spring 2018 re-registration process, CSC student initiatives will be eligible to apply for funding at two frequencies: during annual allocations and during the supplemental grant period, depending on the initiative’s needs and the type of funding requested. This change was a result of student group leader feedback which indicated that it is difficult to project group expenses nearly a year in advance, and thus the Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission will meet throughout the year to evaluate funding requests. In addition, in the 2018-19 academic year, the Center for Social Concern hopes to offer improved funding resources to support awareness and fundraising events, as well as professional development for students, three categories that were previously ineligible for CSC funding. The Commission will evaluate proposals for these funding programs as well.

 

Funding

Annual Allocations (Submitted as part of re-registration in March)

  • Transportation to service projects
  • Fees to national organizations
  • Recruitment expenses
  • Anticipated supplies for the upcoming academic year
  • Anticipated service-related expenses (including mandatory trainings, if known)
  • Fingerprinting expenses
  • Food for general body meetings
  • Apparel/imprinted items (request for CSC contribution, design can be approved later)

Supplemental Grants (two times a semester)

  • Monthly supplemental grants for direct service projects occurring within six weeks to meet unanticipated needs (for example, for additional supplies and transportation funding)
  • Event grants (for fundraisers, educational/awareness events) (pending funding)
  • Professional Development Fund (travel to conferences on behalf of the group, providing training for group members) (pending funding)

Important Dates

Important 2018 Dates

EventDate
Workshops on new initiative application process & group re-registrationFebruary
New student initiative applications acceptedMarch 1-16
Existing CSC initiatives re-registration period March 1-April 1
Prospective new initiative presentations to Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations CommissionWeeks of March 26 and April 2
CSC groups annual allocations meetingSaturday, April 7
Annual allocations decisions communicatedWednesday, April 11
New initiatives announcedSunday, April 15
Appeals re: prospective initiative application or annual allocation decision must be submittedFriday, April 20
Annual allocations fund and prospective initiatives application appeals meeting Week of April 23
All prospective initiatives notified of status.
annual allocations approved for all groups
By Tuesday, May 1