Frequently Asked Questions

The Center for Social Concern is excited for your interest in our Student Initiatives! We understand you may have some additional questions about your classification. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you still find that you have additional questions, contact the Center for Social Concern at or (410) 516-4777. Those connected with existing student initiatives can also contact our Group Management Interns at, your CSC staff advisor, drop by and chat with us during walk-in office hours.

Still have questions? Contact or call (410) 516-4777.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Student Group and a Baltimore First Individualized Direct Service Site?

Student groups emphasize their on-campus presence and community for their members, usually through meetings for planning, training, reflection, or fellowship. Volunteers usually (but not always!) go as a group to sites and visits are typically more flexible in terms of what volunteers do and commit to. In contrast, a Direct Service Site emphasizes the individual over the group, with a minimal on-campus presence. Volunteers make commitments to a site for a period of time and tend to build more personal connections with specific community partners. If you have questions about where your current initiative fits, please talk with your advisor or the Group Management interns.

My group’s activities contain elements that could fall under multiple categories. Where can I get more clarification regarding my specific group?

Group management interns and advisors are available for individual advising appointments and during office hours. At least two officers from each group should attend Group Management office hours or appointment before the re-registration process.

Is the CSC going to discontinue my student group?

No groups are being asked to discontinue. A student group may choose to disband if they feel that they are no longer an effective and viable organization. CSC staff may also advise discontinuation if it is deemed that the project is no longer effective and viable in accordance to community partner interest and requirements.

Can the CSC discontinue my student group?

CSC staff will work with the Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission to evaluate initiatives according to category-specific criteria and rubrics. View criteria and rubrics now. Groups are expected to meet the minimum criteria, and staff will be available to support groups through the process. Groups will be given notice if they do not meet the minimum requirements, and will be given the subsequent semester to adjust their operations. If a group is unable or unwilling to meet these standards within a semester of notification by CSC staff, the Commission and CSC leadership reserve the right to discontinue the initiative.

I want to start a new service-oriented student group on campus, but I’m not sure how to start.

The CSC will be holding info sessions for students interested in starting new initiatives in the spring semester. The proposal form and additional details will be available in early spring semester. You can also read more details about starting a new initiative here.

I’ve submitted my proposal for a new initiative. Now what?

The CSC Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission will begin evaluating proposals from March 1 to March 15 for new student groups to achieve recognition for the 2018-19 academic year. Selected potential groups will present their ideas in more detail to the Commission during the weeks of March 26 and April 2, and newly recognized initiatives will be announced on April 15.

My request for a new initiative was denied. What steps can I take now?

Denied initiatives may submit appeals by April 20 for Commission reconsideration. The results of this process will be released on May 1. Please keep in mind that the CSC cannot accept all new initiatives, and students may apply again during the 2018-19 application process.

Is it possible for me to start my group earlier and engage in service before the process in the spring semester, if I already have a community partner in mind?

Students interested in doing so must meet with the CSC Associate Director to discuss their options; however, no new students groups will be recognized officially until the official approval cycle. If the community partner has been approved by the CSC (a full list can be found on the website), at the discretion of the CSC staff, students may be able to serve individually and make a proposal in the spring. If the community partner has not been approved, students may not serve until approved during the official cycle and the partner has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CSC.

What does the Civic Engagement Recognition and Allocations Commission do?

This new Commission will be responsible for evaluating proposals for new student initiatives, assessing quality and success of current student initiatives, and approving funding for the existing groups. If you are interested in joining the Commission, learn more.

Who is going to be on the Commission? Can I apply?

The Commission will consist of 5 student commissioners and 2 staff members. All JHU undergraduate students are eligible to apply. Read more about the Commission and how to apply here.

What is the difference between the Annual Allocations funding and the Supplemental Grants? What is included in each?

Requests for Annual Allocations (formerly known as the annual budget request process) will be submitted during regular re-registration in March. These will include predetermined expenses that usually stay the same for the group each year, including costs for transportation to service sites, fees to national organizations, recruitment, and supplies. This year, student groups are also eligible for Supplemental Grants, which officers can submit requests for twice a semester. These will include additional funding to meet unanticipated needs for direct service projects happening within 6 weeks. Small grants for event expenses as well as professional development opportunities for group members may also be available. Learn more about funding here.

My Annual Allocations budget grant is lower than my group was hoping. What can I do?

Student groups who have received smaller budget grants than hoped for may submit written appeals by April 20 for Commission reconsideration. The Commission will then review all of the appeals and make an updated decision. The results of this process will be released on May 1, at which the decision will stand.