Beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year, the College of LSA Scholarship Program initiated a new service requirement for the incoming freshman class of scholarship recipients. Each four-year scholarship student in their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year is now required to complete at least 40 hours of volunteer service over the course of the academic year (fall, winter, spring, and/or summer terms).
Benefits of Community Service
By adding this new requirement, the Scholarship Office hopes to help foster within its scholarship recipients a lasting dedication to social responsibility and citizenship. Students will not only have the opportunity to give back to others, but also have the chance to learn new skills while continuing to build upon existing ones. Through volunteering, the Scholarship Office hopes students will be exposed to new perspectives and different ways of thinking about issues within the community.
The 40 hour service requirement can be met through any means the student chooses, but it must be through an official student or community organization. Students may also choose to volunteer in their hometown during one of the University's academic breaks, including spring/summer terms. Service hours associated with course credit or compensation (monetary or in the form of gift cards or Blue Bucks) cannot be counted toward the requirement. Research assistantships, internships, lab work, and any other professional experiences (paid or unpaid) cannot be applied to the service requirement. Also, work done to promote a specific political candidate, official, or party is not accepted. The LSA Office reserves the right to evaluate the legitimacy of service work on a case by case basis. Students will receive an email if any or all of their service hours do not meet the necessary requirements.
There are three different classifications of volunteering to consider when deciding how to utilize the time:
Direct Service: working directly with community members or those being served.
- Mentoring children within the community
- Assisting the elderly
- Volunteering at shelters for the homeless
- Visiting hospitals
- Helping out at community centers
Indirect Service: working on a project which impacts the community in an ancillary way.
- Volunteering for disaster relief or clean-up
- Assisting with environmentally focused projects
- Participating in urban renewal projects (community painting, building, etc.)
- Helping with UM student organization fundraising
- Organizing a community food drive
Advocacy Service: working for the alleviation of a community issue (homelessness, nonviolence, etc.)
- Conducting information campaigns
- Helping with voter registration drives
- Lobbying or speaking on behalf of a community issue
- Reporting Volunteering Hours
Take a moment and consider your own personal skill set. Think of ways you could best use utilize your own strengths to benefit the surrounding community. Do you like to spend one-on-one time with people or are you more likely to spend time behind the scenes? Are you good with computers? Donate your time to help a community organization develop a website. Part of a performance group? Organize a performance at a local retirement or senior outreach center. Once you have declared your major, consider ways of using the service requirement to gain experience in the field by volunteering for groups involved in your area of study. Or, take it as a chance to become involved in an organization or cause you might not have otherwise considered.
Students who are unable to complete the scholarship service requirement during a term or academic year due to unforeseen circumstances can apply for a waiver. Examples may include a demanding work schedule, semester or academic yearlong study abroad, unexpected personal or family emergencies, or personal medical reasons. To request an appeal please contact the Scholarship Manager, Douglas Fletcher, at email@example.com.
Students, unless otherwise instructed, will have from September until August (almost a full year) to fulfill their 40 hour service requirement for each year of their scholarship. Students will log their volunteer hours via a Google form. The link to the appropriate Google form will be emailed to students at the beginning of the fall semester (in September), and in the beginning of the spring semester (in May). Students are expected to submit one Google form per organization that they volunteer with each semester. If they volunteer with the same organization more than once during a semester, they will be able edit the Google form they submitted for the organization and add hours/information throughout the semester. Students do not need to submit a Google form for a semester if they did not complete any hours during that time frame. All hours must be submitted by the deadlines communicated in the service program emails that students receive.
Listed below are a variety of resources to help students discover ways to utilize their volunteer service requirement:
Appreciate + Reciprocate
Appreciate + Reciprocate (formerly The Society of LSA Scholars) is a volunteer organization created by students who are recipients of scholarships from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. They work to bring together students from all parts of campus in ways that benefit the university community by organizing fundraisers, volunteer work, and social events.
If you are interested in volunteering for A+R events or would like to learn more about joining the society, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website here. You can also see their promotional video here.
University of Michigan Ginsberg Center
The Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning offers a range of programs students can participate in which are geared toward strengthening community service learning within the University of Michigan society. The six main programs of the Ginsberg Center are the America Reads Tutoring Corps, the Michigan AmeriCorps Partnership, Interfaith Action, Project Community, SERVE and Semester in Detroit. Only the hours spent in actual service will count towards fulfilling the requirement; coursework and lectures taken through the Ginsberg Center do not count. For more information about these programs, visit the Ginsberg Center website here.
SERVE is a student run program through the Ginsberg Center that works to provide students with opportunities to address serious social issues through community service and social action. SERVE programs include:
- Alternate Spring Break (ASB)
- Alternative Weekends (AW)
- North American Summer Service Team(NASST)
- Pangea World Service Team (PWST)
- Volunteers Involved Every Week (VIEW)
Each of the SERVE programs requires different levels of participation throughout the academic year. Students electing to participate in any of the SERVE programs through the Ginsberg Center should be aware of any program costs for travel associated with the program.
At this time, the College of LSA Scholarship Office cannot offer funding for the ASB, AW, or NASST programs. Please see the program websites for more information regarding fee-waivers and scholarships available through the Ginsberg Center.
Opportunities in the Ann Arbor and surrounding communities:
For a list of service and community outreach programs organized by departments across the University of Michigan, please visit ginsberg.umich.edu/students/service.
For a list of UM student organizations aimed at promoting volunteering and service learning, please visit studentorgs.umich.edu/maize/service.
Please contact the LSA Scholarship Office at 734-763-9521 for any questions regarding the LSA Scholarship Service Program.
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