One of Michigan Tech’s Undergraduate Student Learning Goals is Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning. This goal seeks to promote civic engagement through both political and non-political processes. Student Leadership and Involvement aims to support this goal by overseeing the recording of community service hours through GivePulse.
Our broad definition of community service is “action taken to meet the needs of others and to better the community as a whole” (Campus Compact, 1998). Student Leadership and Involvement further defines community service hours as non-compensated activities organized in partnership with a non-profit, community, or government organization that benefits a larger community than its own membership.
In order to ensure that students are completing meaningful community service hours, we have created the following guidelines. We recognize that there may be situations where it is difficult to determine whether or not an activity meets the requirements to be classified as community service hours, and we encourage students to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
These guidelines apply to all service hour submissions received on or after January 1, 2023 regardless of when the service hours were performed.
- All community service hours must be submitted for approval on GivePulse. Submissions must include a detailed description of the service performed as well as a phone number or email address of a verification contact.
- Students cannot count time spent on activities for which they received compensation
as community service hours. Compensation does not include:
- Travel stipends
- Transit/parking passes
- Membership passes
- Expense reimbursements
- Other nominal volunteer supports/aids
- If you are unsure of whether or not your activity counts as service, please email email@example.com. Although there is room for discussion, the decision to either count or not count hours ultimately rests with Student Leadership and Involvement.
- Activities that generally do not count as community service include:
- Philanthropy (exceptions listed under Philanthropy)
- Student club/organization activities that only serve the club
- Political lobbying (Non-partisan voter registration is an eligible activity)
- Religious instruction
- Conducting worship service
- Volunteer service performed as part of court-ordered community service
- Serving only family members
- Time spent traveling to and from a service location
- Projects completed with any for-profit organization/business, even if the work was unpaid
- Self-directed “projects” without the oversight of a supporting community organization
such as trash pick-up or recycling, tutoring, yard work, snow shoveling, baby-sitting/pet-sitting
for private individuals, etc.
- Oversight can be provided through SLI for specific projects that support a community member in need if requested in advance. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire and register your project.
- Participation in self-improvement workshops, clinics, conferences, new member orientation, or conventions
- Participating in a research project either as a participant or a researcher
- On-campus service is service that directly benefits Michigan Technological University or is physically conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus.
- Examples of on-campus service include but are not limited to:
- Supporting an admissions event (Preview Day, Open House, student panel, etc), if it’s not part of a work responsibility
- Volunteering at Move-In, K-Day, Career Closet, Homecoming, Winter Carnival, etc. to support the overall functioning of the event
- Ushering at the Rozsa for a performance
Student Clubs and Organizations
- Time spent on activities that only benefit the membership of an organization cannot be counted as community service hours. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Attending/leading any meetings
- Preparing materials such as agendas or fliers
- Marketing for your organization
- Time spent on activities that benefit a wider population can be counted as community service hours. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Hosting an event that is open to all of campus and/or the community
- Performing an off-campus group service project
- Creating/promoting educational materials that address a humanitarian issue
- Off-campus service is service that benefits entities other than the Michigan Tech community such as non-profit organizations, local schools, community members, etc.
- Examples of off-campus service include but are not limited to:
- Volunteering at the humane society
- Serving as a reading buddy at an elementary school
- Working at a food bank
- Visiting the elderly members of a nursing home
- Building a house with Habitat for Humanity
- Off-campus service is not limited to the Keweenaw community. Service hours can be completed all across the country and even internationally.
- Time spent on activities that only benefit the membership of a religious organization cannot be counted as community service hours. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Religious instruction
- Conducting worship service
- Creating religious materials
- Fundraising for a religious organization
- Time spent serving with a religious organization on activities that benefit a wider population can be counted as service hours (ex. serving dinner to hungry members of the community through your church).
- Unpaid hours completed while working for a summer camp can be counted as community service. Students cannot include time spent sleeping, eating, showering, etc.
- Summer camps are held to the same stipulations as other religious organization activities as outlined above.
- Service trips, such as mission trips, Mindtrekkers, alternative spring breaks, etc. can be counted for service for the hours that you are performing direct service.
- Time spent on travel, meals, sleep, exploration, cultural immersion, etc. does not count as service hours.
- Mission trips are held to the same stipulations as other religious organization activities as outlined above.
- Philanthropy is the act of donating or raising money and differs from community service. In order to earn community service hours, a student must give time rather than funds.
- Participating in or attending a philanthropy event does not count as service. Examples of what cannot be counted are:
- A charity run/walk
- Relay for Life
- Philanthropy events hosted by a fraternity or sorority
- Purchasing a T-shirt
- There are a few exceptions such as:
- Time spent performing an essential function can be counted as community service (ex. handing out water during a race, crowd management, checking people in, etc.
- With advance approval from SLI, time spent planning/organizing a philanthropy event
can be counted as community service hours. Students wishing to receive community service
hours under this exception must include a detailed description of all activities completed
and the amount of time spent on each activity.
- Students may count service hours that are completed outside of the classroom in conjunction with a service-learning course.
- Unpaid internships completed at a 501(c)(3) can be counted as community service, even if they are a required component of a student’s coursework.
- Time spent shadowing without performing a task cannot be counted as community service hours.
- Hours spent on student-teaching can be counted as community service hours.
- Time spent promoting or campaigning for a political candidate/party/ideal cannot be counted as community service hours.
- Non-partisan voter registration drives can be counted as community service.
- Donating or attempting to donate blood counts as one community service hour.
- Donating Power Red counts as two community service hours.
- Assisting with the functioning or marketing of a blood drive can be counted as community service.
- All “on-call” hours cannot be counted as service hours
- Time spent actively responding to a call or providing service can be counted
- Examples of on-call service include EMS, Ski Patrol, etc.
- On-call time as part of a compensated work position does not qualify
- Hours must be shared both with your organization and with Michigan Tech
- Hours must be listed as “public” as opposed to “private”
- Service chairs should have members review your service reports regularly. If they find any of their impacts are missing they can edit it following these steps:
- Log In to GivePulse -> My Activity -> Impacts -> Hit drop down to right of Verified Box -> Update -> Scroll all the way to last Box "Sharing and Privacy Settings" -> Make sure shared with the correct groups AND that your impact is NOT private -> Update Impact
In the event that your community service hours are denied and you believe that those hours should have been approved, you may contact Student Leadership and Involvement by email (email@example.com) or by phone (906-487-1963). Student Leadership and Involvement reserves the right to change the above guidelines as needed.