You have the power to make our communities better.
The mission of the University of Charleston includes preparing you for a lifetime of community service.
We believe that each of us has the ability and the responsibility to make our communities better. Students are required to perform a specific number of community service hours and completion of service projects during each academic year. Projects can include on-campus service activities or following a desire to help in your home community.
Through our annual Labor of Love Day, we work with the city of Charleston to offer a day of service. From city beautification projects, painting, working at the animal shelter, to cleaning projects and more, Labor of Love benefits both UC students and the community.
Community service opportunities and placements are coordinated by the Office of Student Life, which is responsible for tracking and reporting community service hours performed by individuals and organizations.
Benefits of Community Service include:
- Obtain skills that are transferable to the classroom, future work experiences, and your work with student organizations.
- Learn more about the community by connecting with a network of people.
- Experience a feeling of “giving to others” and “community belonging.”
- Build and enhance your teamwork and leadership skills.
The Office of Student Life can assist you in matching opportunities to your interests, working as a contact point for non-profit agencies in need of volunteers and planning, coordinating and assisting with the administration of service learning experiences.
Many students have questions about what counts as community service. If any hours are questionable, please contact the Office of Student Life for clarification.
Please follow these guidelines as examples of what can count as community service:
- Any project or service that you complete that is benefiting the community (i.e. working with children, elderly, picking up trash in the community) is considered service. (Examples: Volunteering at a nursing home, daycare, non-profit such as the Ronald McDonald House)
- The service is only considered “community service” if you are unaffiliated with this organization, i.e. you are not an intern at the non-profit, your grandparent is not a resident at the nursing home.
- Donations of food or goods may count as community service. When documenting the hours, there will be specific amount of hours allotted for the items donated:
- $10 = 1 hour
- 10 cans of food = 1 hour
- 10 holiday cards = 1 hour
- Community service hours can be completed on campus, (if with an outside organization that has come on to campus), in your hometown, in the Charleston area, or even out of the country.
The following are examples of what is NOT counted as community service:
- Any event that is used to promote student organizations for the purpose of gaining new members (i.e. EUC Days, Involvement Fair).
- Projects in which the organization receives monetary compensation for services and keeps the money for the organization.
- Projects that are or promote ideas against federal, state or local laws.
- Projects done in a student’s own home (i.e. babysitting, cleaning out closets etc.)
- Working with an organization or business that you are directly affiliated with
- Examples: Providing a service for the church you attend
- Cleaning out the office you intern with, a family home, family friend home/business
- Helping an event on campus that is put on by your campus organization
Community Service Hour Submissions
- Community service hours will only be accepted up to 60 days post service date.
- Community Service days must be broken down into date, hours worked, total days works.
Documentation of Service Hours
All University of Charleston community service hours are to be documented through the community service database which is maintained by the Office of Student Life.
Student organizations representing the University of Charleston must abide by the following guidelines:
- Students must dress appropriately for the project they are completing. No obscene language, drug, alcohol, pornography or violence should be on the clothing students wear.
- Students should limit the time spent talking on cell phones or listening to electronic devices unless permitted by the organization in which the student is serving.
- Students should use appropriate language when serving an organization. Many of the facilities in which students will be visiting house children and the elderly.
- Students should be respectful to the supervisor of the organization in which they are serving.
- Students should not complete any task in which they feel uncomfortable.