Community Service & Civic Engagement

Promotion of community service projects, community involvement, and civic engagement opportunities available from university offices, schools, and student organizations.

There are many great opportunities across the university for students to get involved in community service projects, community involvement, and civic engagement opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about community service and civic engagement opportunities available from schools, student organizations, and other university offices, or to notify students of opportunities to participate in such activities, please email Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

One-Time Service Projects

The one-time community service projects are designed for busy students who wish to volunteer with their local community. To participate, students only need to sign up and show up with an open mind and ready to learn and work. Some service projects are held on-campus and many others are out in the NYC community. Projects may be organized by an individual student, a group of students, or a university department or school in collaboration with the Office of Student Development and Activities.

Contact us if you’d like to organize a project or to learn about upcoming opportunities to volunteer.

University Service Tips

University Service Trips are a great way to spend Spring Break and early summer meeting new people, trying something new, and making a difference in the community! Students can enjoy their breaks by participating in opportunities for community involvement. During the two service weeks, students will participate in direct service with fellow students working with a community agency to meet the unmet needs of under served neighborhoods. Students will be prepared for each service opportunity through the education, orientation, and training components of the service project. There will also be discussions for daily reflection linked to service activities and education.

Previous trips have included visits to New Orleans to rebuild housing after Hurricane Katrina and the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota to learn about Lakota culture and rehabilitate housing.

Students interested in participating in service opportunities for Spring Break/Summer are encouraged to contact Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Previous Service Projects included:

  • Orientation Volunteer Project: Led by the OSDA in collaboration with Partnership for the Parks and campus sustainability groups, the orientation volunteer project includes a morning visit to a New York City park followed up by a workshop on recycling, compost, and sustainable living while at school.  The project concludes with students evaluating current university recycling/compost options and usage on campus.
  • New York Cares Day: Held annually in October, New York Cares Day is a NYC service initiative sponsored by New York Cares where New Yorkers volunteer to paint and rehabilitate public schools.
  • It’s My Park Day: Sponsored by Partnership for the Parks, It’s My Park Day brings thousands of city residents to NYC public parks to clean the grounds and plant trees and flowers for the spring.  New School volunteers usually work in Union Square Park.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: Held annually on MLK Jr. Day, The New School partners with City Year to do a mass volunteer project in a city neighborhood. Projects are usually spread across multiple sites in the neighborhood and usually focus on rehabilitating schools, community centers and other public spaces. Past neighborhoods visited include Hunts Point, Bronx, and East New York, Brooklyn.
  • Hands on New York Day: The spring analog to New York Cares Day. Held in April, this one-day volunteer project usually focuses on rehabilitating a NYC outdoors public space such as the waterfront of Astoria Park.
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