Community Partner Commitments

The Department of Community Service and its affiliated student clubs have partnered with the local community for over 50 years.  Brandeis has historically demonstrated a deep commitment to our values and the principles of social justice. The Department of Community Service at Brandeis is one avenue through which the institution embodies these values.  We acknowledge that our community partners have many partnerships across the institution and that partnerships with the Department of Community Service vary in nature. A sampling framework for partnerships can be outlined as: 

With this in mind, student-led clubs are the primary function and framework for the department’s engagement. The core values of the Dean of Students Office remains at the forefront of our partnership. 

Any strong partnership evolves and adapts overtime. The Department of Community Service has high expectations for themselves and our partners.  Below are the basic levels of commitments that we believe foster strong partnerships.

Community Partner Commitments:
  1. Identify community needs/goals that are advanced through the creation of a reciprocal partnership between the partner site and Brandeis students. 

  2. Provide ongoing training, support, and supervision of students to ensure they are adequately prepared to engage in partnerships.

  3. Serve as co-educators to students to further enhance the department’s student learning outcomes

  4. Consistently communicate with departmental staff on organizational changes, goals, and student volunteers. 

  5. Evaluate and share the impact of programs and events. 

  6. Provide a working environment that is in line with the University Mission and Diversity Statements

Department of Community Service Commitments:
  1. Collaborate with all partners to identify community needs while ensuring all voices are represented and heard, creating a space of shared community and belonging. 

  2. Advise and support students on all aspects of our community partnership programs and efforts.  This includes training, coordination of transportation (when possible), leadership lineage, risk management, problem-solving, and more. 

  3. Consistently communicate with partner sites during the full academic year and through student transition. 

  4. Provide data and assessment of volunteers and program outcomes when possible to partner sites to further demonstrate the impact of their mission. 

  5. Serve as an entry point to the University and liaison to departments and centers for additional resources when possible. 

  6. Serve as a voice for organizations when relevant at Brandeis. 

  7. Holistically support partner organizations by encouraging members of the Brandeis community to attend and/or market annual meetings, fundraiser's, and community events. 

Guiding Principles
Beyond our commitments, the department has founding values which guide our work in our local, national, and global communities. 
  • Community Assets: Our partnerships are most successful when both parties bring their assets to our shared work. We recognize that our community partners are the experts in this work and are best equipped to address the needs of our community. Our students engaged in the department bring a unique set of skills and talents, many of which are explored through service, but enhanced in training. 
  • Capacity Building: The Department’s role is to enhance and build the capacity of our partner’s mission. 
  • Reciprocal Partnerships: At their core, all community-based projects, events, and initiatives are mutually beneficial to all stakeholders in the partnership and respond to a community need.  
  • Community as Co-Educators: Our community partners serve as co-educators to our students, providing them with training and resources to engage with our community and local organizations. 
  • Community Voice: Each partner brings to the relationship the knowledge and understanding of their participants and has an equal voice in all planning and decision making. 
  • Shared Vision: The goals of the relationship will evolve as all invested parties redefine the shared vision and scope of the partnership.
  • Training, Evaluation, and Reflection: Intentional training, evaluation, and reflection are essential in student learning and community change. 
  • Sustainability:All parties will utilize available resources and innovation to create sustainable programs and services.