Service 101

Service 101 provides introductory information about service and is a new component that will be required to complete the Certificate in Service Learning starting Spring 2018.

After reviewing the Service 101 resources provided on this webpage, you will need to respond to reflection questions available on your service learning certificate record in myKU Portal. In the reflection, specify which article/video you are referencing.

To complete the Service 101 component of the Certificate in Service Learning:

(see tabs above)

      1) Review the Service Guidelines 

      2) Review Glossary of Terms

      2) Review the Pathways to Service

      3) Go to the Articles and Videos tab

          a. Review the reflection questions and corresponding resources to help you think through the prompts in myKU Portal.
          b. Choose at least one article or video per writing prompt to read or watch.

      4) Go to your service learning certificate record in myKU Portal and submit your responses to the reflection prompts. Responses should be at least 100 words per question.


Guidelines for Service Learning Students

Adapted from Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice, Research, and Learning

As you begin your service learning partnership with a community organization, you will be entering your work in the community as a representative of the University of Kansas and, as such, we ask that you carefully read through and abide by the following guidelines to assist you in having the most meaningful and worthwhile experience possible.

Go over these guidelines with your service supervisor, noting in the margins any changes that need to be made such that the guidelines better fit your service site.


Ask for help when in doubt: Your site supervisor understands the issues at your site best and can assist you in determining the best way to respond to difficult or uncomfortable situations.

Be punctual and responsible: Although you are volunteering your time, you are participating in the organization as a reliable, trustworthy and contributing member of the team. Those with whom you work will depend on your punctuality and commitment to completing your service hours throughout your partnership.

Call if you anticipate lateness or absence: Call the site supervisor with as much notice as possible if you are unable to come in or if you anticipate being late. Be mindful of your commitment to serving with your community.

Respect the privacy of all clients: If you are privy to confidential information with regard to the persons with whom you are working (i.e., organizational files, diagnostics, personal stories, etc.) it is vital that you treat it as privileged information. You should use pseudonyms in your course assignments if you are referring to clients or the people with whom you work with at the organization.

Show respect for the community organization you work for: Placement within community programs is an educational opportunity and an honor. Keep in mind, not only are you serving the community, but the community is serving you by investing valuable resources in your learning.

Act appropriately: Treat your supervisor and others with courtesy and kindness. Dress comfortably, neatly and appropriately. Use formal names unless instructed otherwise.

Be flexible: The level or intensity of activity at a community site is not always predictable. Your flexibility to changing situations can assist the partnership in working smoothly and producing positive outcomes for everyone involved.

DON’T report to your community organization under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

DON’T give or loan a client money or other personal belongings.

DON’T make promises or commitments to a client you cannot keep.

DON’T give a client or community organization representative a ride in a personal vehicle.

DON’T tolerate verbal exchange of a sexual nature or engage in behavior that might be perceived as sexual with a client or community organization representative.

DON’T tolerate verbal exchange or engage in behavior that might be perceived as discriminating against an individual on the basis of their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or ethnicity.

DON’T engage in any type of business with clients during the term of your community work.

DON’T enter into personal relationships with a client or community organization representative during the term of your community work. Conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. Every site has its own rules, policies, procedures, protocols and expectations, for which you are responsible. Familiarizing yourself with the workings of the organization will contribute to the success of your experience.


Disclaimer: this is how we are defining these words in this context

First, let's define SERVICE
We use the term service as a way to encompass all ways that students engage in unpaid contributions to their communities. This term service is sometimes used interchangeable with volunteering, but can also include a variety of other community engagement efforts, such as advocacy, mentoring, policy, social innovation, research, etc. See Pathways to Service.

Equality vs Equity
Equality is treating everyone the same. Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equity can provide a level playing field to those disenfranchised by an unequal distribution of opportunities and privileges in society.

Ethical Service
We define ethical service as respectful service experiences that prioritize the dignity of the people in a community. Understanding ethical service helps us avoid perpetuating stereotypes, misconceptions, and behaviors that cause unintended harm in communities. See White Savior Industrial Complex.

Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. (

A form of tourism in which travelers participate in voluntary work, typically for a charity.

White Savior Complex “The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege” Teju Cole

“A White Savior is a common trope used in books, films, and as a way of interpreting actual history. It’s also a perspective shared by many white people as we move through the world. In the simplest terms, it’s when a white character or person rescues people of color from their oppression. The White Savior is portrayed as the good one, the one that we’re meant to identify with as we watch or read these narratives.” Celia Edall (



The Pathways to Service describe the variety of ways people can use their knowledge, skills, and talents to improve their communities. Many of these pathways overlap, allowing you diverse experiences to help you determine which pathways are the best fit for you.


Works with those in need of assistance or addresses a need of the broader community

     Assist senior citizens with their taxes
     Provide help in homeless shelter
     Assist a local agency with a marketing plan or social media


Mentor / Educator
Guides others in their development and learning

     Provide music/dance/art lessons
     Tutor, mentor or coach youth
     Teach English as a second language


Creates awareness and action on issues that impact the community

     Organize a letter writing campaign or petition drive
     Produce a public service announcement raising awareness about an issue
     Design and display posters highlighting a cause and need for action


Policy Shaper
Influences and shapes decisions for the public interest through policies and laws

     Lobby on behalf of a community issue
     Draft legislation that helps or protects the community
     Run for political office


Gathers and presents findings that inform action on issues that affect the community

     Conduct energy audits in public buildings
     Test water to assist with restoration efforts
     Conduct research for a community organization


Social Innovator
Uses knowledge and skills to create ideas and strategies that address social issues

     Create an online tool to help citizens report broken infrastructure
     Build an app that shows all of the accessibility entrances on campus


Articles and Videos

Below are the reflection questions and corresponding resources to help you think through the prompts in myKU Portal. Review at least 1 video or article per prompt. Please specify which resource you are referencing when addressing each question.  You should write at least 100 words in response to each question.

Q1. There are several pathways to service that include direct service, indirect service, advocacy, etc. How can you use the skills learned at KU or emerging expertise in your field of study to benefit society?

Q2. Select two main concepts from the video and readings, explain them, and describe why they resonated for you. Include a specific example of one consideration you will keep in mind when engaging in future service activities.

Q3. What is the importance of the community’s perspective when participating in service projects? What role does humility (being humble) and privilege play in service?


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