Guiding Principles for Service and Civic Engagement

Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Here at the John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement, we have used the summer to listen and to learn – from our students, our communities, and others. In turn, we are working to ensure that service and civic engagement continue to be value-driven, relationship-based, and a social responsibility, even as we shift toward a virtual environment for our programs.

Our direction for the fall is informed by a set of principles, which are built upon and strengthened by our core values of engaged discovery; community focus; impactful programs; and student leadership. These principles will act as our compass to ensure that we remain prepared and responsive to the needs of our undergraduate and graduate students, community partners, campus partners, and staff. 

•    Sustain the wellbeing and protect the health and safety of all students, staff, community, and others who participate in and contribute to the life, programs and activities of the Pace Center 

•    Adapt service and learning to virtual and online programming to minimize health risks for students, staff and community.

•    Adhere to current health guidelines and compliance with policies, practices and protocol informed by the University in partnership with the community. 

•    Engage, sustain, and partner with the community by listening to their needs and uniformly employing our partnership principles: preparation as continual practice; communicate early and often; approach service with integrity; and create equity in partnerships. 

•    Respect and uphold the grassroots nature of service at Princeton with meaningful and safe opportunities that reflect students’ diverse interests, passions, and points of access.

•    Prioritize student capacity building to work toward systemic change with advocacy and activism training, leadership development, and clear and consistent guidelines and parameters.  Centering the most marginalized voices and anti-racism will be priorities.

•    Maintain clear and accessible communication for students, staff, and the community with health and safety concerns, programming updates and more. Our monthly newsletter will resume in September and all students, partners, and members of the campus community are welcome to subscribe

In addition, we are putting together a set of adaptive guidelines to outline the steps we can all take together to ensure engagement with students, staff, and community partners is done safely and virtually. We acknowledge these guidelines will likely need to be updated based on the fluidity of the current health situation and decisions by University leadership and federal, state, and local public health leaders. As we put together these guidelines, we’d like to hear from you. Please use our simple form to share questions and other things you have on your mind for the fall. 

We will be hosting a town hall meeting via zoom for all Pace Center students to answer questions and share information about service for the coming year.  The town hall meeting will take place on Monday, August 17 at 12 PM (EST).  Registration for this event can be found online at Pace Center Student Town Hall Meeting Registration. This event is open to all students who engage in service with the Pace Center.