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6 ways to stay engaged in service opportunities

Stay engaged with community service, volunteering and leadership opportunities with these helpful tips.

Whether you’re just wanting to dip your toes in the community service waters, or fully immerse yourself in an experiential community-engaged learning program, there’s something that could use your invaluable contributions.

Located inside the University Union, the Bennion Center connects students, faculty, & staff to community engagement through experiential learning, volunteering and leadership opportunities. While known as the place to go for volunteer opportunities both on and off campus, there is so much more for you to discover.

So, what are the best ways to engage with the Bennion Center this spring semester? The answer is simple, start by visiting our website.

1. New website layout

While the Bennion Center is complex, your personal journey shouldn’t have to be. We believe the new website layout helps our U community members to navigate the myriad ways to engage. For students, all programs have been organized by time-commitment (one-time, week-long plus, semester-based, etc.), interest type (volunteer, travel, academic credit, etc.), or program name if you already know what you’re looking for. Look through the options here.

2. Upcoming event registrations

For clarity, our audiences have been segmented into students, faculty, university and community. Convenient links can be found on each audience page to register, apply, or find out more information. Throughout the spring 2021 semester you’ll find mostly virtual and some in-person events (strictly adhering to all COVID-19 best practices) including community conversations, forums, dialogues, socials, Service Corner Nights and more. You will also find a link to view our entire spring semester calendar of events.

3. Volunteer Interest Form (for students only)

After you have discovered the programs that fit into your life and schedule, click the Volunteer Interest Form to view all of the active opportunities for each of the programs. Select a minimum of one or as many as three options you are interested in and submit your form. A program representative will then contact you.

4. Spring semester application dates

While the Bennion Center does have “drop-in” anytime to volunteer programming options, a number of programs require you to apply ahead of time. For spring semester, this includes applications due dates for the following:

  • 2021-22 student leadership positions

There are up to 150 positions available every year and many of the positions don’t require any previous Bennion Center experience. Applications open Feb. 1, 2021, and there are three different due dates (Feb. 14, March 14 and April 4) depending on what position(s) you are interested in. Positions are open to all majors and range from community partner liaisons, social media coordinator and many in-between.

  • On-campus housing

Did you know the Bennion Center also offers community-engaged on-campus living experiences? It’s true. The Bennion Service House, located in Officers Circle, is open to all majors and offers 12 residents the opportunity to live and engage their community together through various projects throughout the year. The Gail Miller Community Engagement tower, part of Kahlert Village, is available to first-year students only. Housing applications open Feb. 10 with a priority deadline of March 10.

Also, new this year, the Bennion Center has a kiosk located on the main floor of Kahlert Village where you can pick up Service Corner projects at various times every week.

5. Community Engaged Learning Courses, Scholars and Certificate for Fall Semester

  • Community-Engaged Learning (CEL Designated) Courses: With over 200 CEL designated courses at the U, consider learning more about them, their impact and how they can be applied to our other academic programs. All BENN courses are CEL designated. Learn more here.
  • Bennion Scholars: Apply your academic interests to meet a real social concern through a capstone project with a community partner and faculty mentor. Applications to enroll for fall semester are currently open and close on April 1. Learn more here.
  • Community Engagement Certificate: This brand new certificate can serve as a professional credential and add value to a student’s academic experience at the U. It requires 21 credit hours with a minimum of 15 credit hours in CEL designated courses. It is open to all undergraduates at the U, regardless of major. Learn more here.
  • Community-Engaged Learning Abroad: Another opportunity you might not have known about, the Bennion Center offers two Learning Abroad options. The trip to Cuba is planned for fall and the trip to Costa Rica next spring. Learn more here.

6. Stay Connected

The Bennion Center is committed to fostering a diverse and active community. Peoples of all backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to participate and make a difference. We envision inclusive, healthy, resilient and just communities. That effort starts within each of us, it starts with you.