The Center for Service Learning is here to support you in navigating the continuation of community engaged work amidst COVID-19. This webpage will serve as a living resource-- we will continually add FAQs as well as relevant resources that might assist you in the transition to virtual teaching, learning, and serving.
Have a question you'd like us to answer and add to this page? Click here to ask it!
CSL Program Updates
What is the CSL team schedule and how can I reach you?
The Center for Service Learning will be operating remotely for the fall semester. All appointments and meetings can be conducted via telephone/Skype for Business or Zoom. Please email email@example.com or call 785-864-0960 to schedule an appointment. The CSL will retain its normal "office hours" of 8:30am-4:30pm, with extended hours to 6pm on Wednesdays. You are also welcome to submit needs to our Help form here.
What is the plan for CSL-sponsored events this semester?
Please stay tuned as CSL-sponsored events scheduled for the next couple of months are adapted for the virtual environment.
Is the CSL hosting any workshops to provide insight and support during this time?
Short answer: yes! Check back often for updates on workshops, meetings, and more!
How do I know what changes or decisions are occurring on the university level?
The most up-to-date information regarding university-wide guidance and instructions will be found at coronavirus.ku.edu.
What resources exist for instructors making the transition to remote teaching and online coursework?
The KU Center for Teaching Excellence, KU Information Technology, and the KU Center for Online and Distance Learning have collaborated on remote.ku.edu, a site with resources, tools, and information about KU-hosted webinars regarding online instruction. CTE has also published this blog post which may be helpful: Creating Community in an Online Course. Another resource when considering virtual and instruction and accessibility is this post by Mapping Access.
Internet access might be a barrier for me/my students engaging effectively in virtual learning spaces. Are there suggestions for how to navigate this challenge?
Spectrum, Cox, Midco, and Xfinity are all offering internet access at free or discounted rates for two months. If you do decide to utilize one of these services, make sure to remember to cancel them at the end of the two months so you don't get charged for additional months!
Additional Resource: Guide to Internet Plans for Low and Fixed-Income Households
How do I continue to volunteer while the university has transitioned to virtual classes?
There are a variety of pathways to service that can be supported virtually in ways that continue to support community needs and learning outcomes. A few ideas based on the pathways to service are:
- Tape, record, or stream performances or workshops to benefit community partner(s)
- Create digital and other social media content, print program materials, or other methods for information-sharing
- Offer (or compile, research, or brainstorm) strategies that provide indirect support from volunteers as a result of coronavirus
- Work with staff to share videos or use technology to continue visits with residents or patients of retirement home facilities
- Develop a social media calendar of posts for an organization
- Conduct virtual or phone-based educational supports for youth and adults
- Provide web-based music/dance/art lessons
- Tutor, mentor, or coach youth online
- Write a positive review for the organization to help with their marketing efforts
- Develop a social marketing and/or media campaign
- Gather and summarize testimonials related to an issue
- Draft legislation to help protect the community
- Lobby on behalf of a community issue
- Develop policy briefs related to an issue
- Conduct background research or gather best practices or other information
- Facilitate an assessment, evaluation, or gather feedback via phone or web-based services
- Conduct a literature review or online research on best practices
- Develop tools for program assessment or analyze data
- Conduct remote interviewing of current/past clients about their experiences, impact of the organization on where they are today
- Create a listing of grant opportunities that may be applicable for the organization
- Create online tools to help citizens report or discuss challenges
- Develop online maps and tools (e.g., create an asset map related to an issue or resource)
- Support an online campaign related to an issue
How do I identify virtual volunteer opportunities? How do I continue to get service hours that count towards my certificate during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are there any organizations/opportunities I can be involved in?
You should contact local organizations to identify volunteer activities that can be supported virtually. Generally, community organizations have a range of needs that can be supported through indirect service. Some local volunteer opportunities that you can review to identify indirect service activities that can be done remotely are accessible from the following:
Additionally, some opportunities to volunteer virtually are supported through these channels:
- American Red Cross Digital Advocates
- Amnesty Decoders
- Anti-Slavery Manuscripts
- Be My Eyes
- Book Share
- Crisis Text Line
- iCouldBe Mentoring Program
- LibriVox: Free Public Domain Audiobooks
- Mapping Prejudice
- Missing Maps
- National Archives Citizen Archivist Program
- National Parks Service
- Project Gutenberg
- Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
- Table Wisdom
- Taproot Foundation
- Translators Without Borders
- United Nations Volunteering
- 7 Cups
What can I do to serve the Lawrence community during this time?
- A team of organizers has put together some Mutual Aid Volunteering opportunities.
- The United Way of Douglas County needs assistance in providing cloth masks to community members.
- Just Food is looking for Food Pantry Volunteers.
- The Sunrise Project needs volunteers to help maintain their community garden.
I really want to continue volunteering in person during this time- what are some things I should be thinking about?
The United Way of Douglas County has put together a general guide for volunteers during this time- before you sign up to volunteer, check that out here!
The Protect KU Plan regulations should be followed both on and off-campus for the safety of our community partners. This involves wearing a mask at all times (except to eat/drink or if medically necessary), washing hand and sanitizing items and surfaces often, practicing and abiding by social distancing guidance, and conducting daily personal health screenings.
If I'm leading a student organization that participates in service, what should I be thinking about right now?
The KU Student Involvement and Leadership Center put together this helpful webpage that can help guide your organziation's direction for the rest of the semester. In addition to communicating with your organization members to share KU's message and any relevant updates about events, elections, transitions, etc., consider how you might communicate with your community partners during this time.
If I'm going home for the rest of the semester, where should I count myself for the 2020 Census?
Here's what the U.S. Census Bureau has to say: “Students living away from home at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily elsewhere.” This means that if you usually live on-campus or off-campus in Lawrence, you should count yourself at that location. Each address only gets one unique Census ID number, so coordinate with any roommates you may have as best you can. You can find the full statement from the US Census Bureau here.
I'm still not really sure what the census is or why I'm supposed to participate in it. Where can I learn more?
First of all, the Census is incredibly important for our community to access and receive the funding and resources it needs. Here's a helpful graphic from our friends at the Institute for Policy and Social Research about how the Census impactsfunding for higher education:
There are so many wonderful resources that can help you learn more about the census! Here's a few to get you started:
- Census 2020- Campus Compact
- Making Sense of the 2020 Census
- What You Need to Know About the 2020 Census (Video)
- COVID-19 and the Census
- 2020 Census: What College Students Need to Know to be Counted in the Right Place
How is COVID-19 going to impact voting in primaries and other upcoming elections?
This really depends on the state you are voting in. Check out Vote.org's page about voting and COVID-19, where you can find information for the state you are registered to vote in! The ALL IN Challenge also has a great webpage for all things voting amidst COVID-19!
How can I help educate students on the importance of democratic participation and voter engagement while advising and instructing virtually?
The Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) has put together this living document that links to lesson plans, games and quizzes, videos, and news reports surrounding civic engagement in higher education. This is a great place from which to start gathering resources! The Campus Election Engagement Project also has a guide called "Coronavirus as a Teachable Classroom Moment: Engaging Students Across the Curriculum," which discusses how to integrate civic engagement into the conversationf or any area of study.
Many of my students are not residents of Kansas. What resources can I provide them to learn more about their state's voting process and timeline?
We would highly recommend promoting rockthevote.org to your students, as they have voting information by state and are updating consistently when changes arise due to COVID-19 or state policy. Columbia College Chicago has also created 51 state-by-state voting guides, which you can find here.
Can I continue doing service during this time without doing more harm than good?
This really depends on the type of service you’re doing, but it is important to consider how we are protecting the most vulnerable populations during this time. Talk to your community partner about the types of service work that can be done remotely through phone, email, or other virtual mediums. For more information on ethical service, click here.
Communications from Relevant Community/Civic Engagement Entities
Iowa Campus Compact: Coronavirus and the Engaged Campus
Imagining America: Small Yet Significant Kindnesses in the Time of COVID-19
The Bonner Foundation: Teaching an Online Social Action Course
Loyola University Chicago: Leveraging the Learning Opportunity of a Global Health Situation
Brown University: Resources for Remote Community Engagement and Work
American Political Science Association: Promoting Civic Literacy and Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Center for Civic Reflection: Themes and "Big Questions" for Reflection
Lifting Bridges Blog: Community Based Learning in Times of Social Distancing, Isolation, and Quarantine
Campus Compact: Compact Members Mobilizing for Communities in a Time of Crisis
Kansas Health Foundation: COVID-19 Info for Kansas
Federal News Network: Federal Agencies Seek Virtual Interns
The Kansas Leadership Center Journal: 11 Tips for Being Civically Engaged During the COVID-19 Pandemic
LiveWell Douglas County: Community Resource Guide 2020
Examples of Virtual Project Ideas