Service Requirements

CIVICUS Community Service and Discussion Requirements

Revised Fall 2016

Service Project Expectations

Each semester’s community service requirement includes four different service activities or one semester-long project (e.g. tutoring an elementary school student one hour each week). 

Not all volunteer activities will count as a CIVICUS service activity. Please confer with the CIVICUS Director or Associate Director in advance of your participation in a service project if you are not sure if it meets these guidelines. 

Long Term Projects

  1. The Director or Associate Director must approve long-term projects. 
  2. Associates cannot do more than two long-term service projects during their time in CIVICUS.  The long-term projects can be in consecutive semesters but do not have to be.

Short Term Projects
Students who fulfill the service requirements through participation in at least four different service activities (vs. a long-term project) must adhere to the following guidelines: 

  1. Each semester, one service activity must be planned independently, without resources or transportation provided by CIVICUS.
  2. CIVICUS Associates may count the following service activities only once in two consecutive semesters:
    • Making greeting cards or craft items (e.g. blankets, scarves, picture frames) 
    • Team or individual participation in non-profit philanthropic fund-raising (e.g. Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, Terp Thon) You must register, pay the required fee, and complete the event.
    • Giving blood or working a blood drive
  3. The following cannot count toward the semester service requirements:
    • Service activities between academic semesters 
    • Service requirements for any University course, including CIVICUS courses
    • Service activities during opening weekend or CIVICUS retreats 
    • Buying items or services (e.g. purchasing candy or paying for a car wash) or making monetary or other contributions (e.g. buying a raffle ticket or donating food or toiletries) 
    • Work for which the Associate is paid or otherwise compensated

Alternative Spring Break participation consisting of two or more days of service (e.g. programs sponsored by the University’s Community Service-Learning, Hillel, CIVICUS, and the University’s Habitat for Humanity student organization) will count for two CIVICUS service activities.   

Associates must submit a Community Service Project Evaluation Form within seven calendar days of completing the service activity for it to count towards the requirements. These forms will be on the CIVICUS OrgSync page. If you fail to turn in your documentation within seven days, your participation in the project will not count and you will need to participate in an additional project to fulfill your CIVICUS service requirements.  Students involved in long-term or semester-long service projects should complete a Long-term Community Service Project Evaluation Form once a month. 

CIVICUS Probation
CIVICUS Associates who do not complete their service or discussion requirements during any semester they are enrolled in courses at UMD will be placed on CIVICUS probation. Associates on program probation will have the next spring or fall academic semester to make up the missing service activities in addition to the service requirements for that semester. (For example: If an Associate participated in only three service activities in the fall semester, she or he would have to complete a total of five service activities in the spring semester to get off probation.) Associates on CIVICUS probation who do not fulfill their requirements by the end of the next spring or fall academic semester will be asked to leave CIVICUS and Somerset Hall, if they live there. These students will no longer be eligible to enroll in CIVICUS courses or to receive the CIVICUS citation.

Attendance and Excused Absences

To establish a strong community, attendance at many CIVCUS events, such as the retreat and opening week activities, is required. Additionally, the community service organizations we work with depend on your participation when you commit to be there.  If you are going to miss a community service event due to an absence, you must find someone to take your place.  Excused absences include religious holidays (you must notify us within the first three weeks of class regarding any religious observance absences), a death in the family (an obituary or funeral program must be submitted), court dates (an official notice from the court must be submitted), mandatory military service, or participation in university activities at the written request of university authorities. If you miss a class due to illness or the illness of a dependent as defined by the Board of Regents policy on family medical leave you must provide written documentation from the Health Center or an outside health care provider, verifying dates of treatment and the time period during which you were unable to meet academic responsibilities.  Absences stemming from work duties other than military obligation (e.g. unexpected changes in shift assignments) and traffic/transit problems do not typically qualify as excused absences. Because all of the above are mandatory events, the “self-signed note” policy will not apply. An unexcused absence from a CIVICUS event or service activity (when a replacement is not found) may result in CIVICUS probation.

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