The Community Service Program is grounded in the Jesuit philosophy of homines pro aliis, men and women for others. At Fordham we want our students to reach their full potential of mind and heart beyond the self by serving in under-served, marginalized and struggling communities. We encourage our students to explore their experiences together with other volunteers connecting service, justice, community and spirituality. Seeking the faith that does justice, we encourage our students to use their two feet of social action, learning solidarity through serving directly and seeking social change.
The Community Service Program serves as a liaison between the Fordham community and the local community. We provide support and resources to students interested in social change offering ongoing and one-time service opportunities, various service-learning options, non-profit and public service internships and social justice experiences. We offer support and resources to faculty members who want to connect their research or courses to community-based issues. Finally, the CSP offers resources to local community-based organizations including volunteer and internship recruitment, job advertisements, connections to faculty and academic departments and access to university facilities and athletic games.
At the 2000 JUSTICE Conference, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Kolvenbach called for American Jesuit Higher Education for Faith and Justice identified by three characteristics: "Who our students become, in what our faculty do and in how our universities proceed." Therefore, we believe that a well-rounded Jesuit education includes learning outside our Fordham classrooms, walls and gates and into the streets of our local community.
In 1999, the CSP helped establish the Service-Learning Program where students can apply volunteer work to an academic course and receive one additional credit. The one credit program, a student-initiated effort, has been thriving ever since. In addition, the CSP has and continues to offer support to faculty members who want to offer courses with a service-learning component, most recently in the New Course Initiative backed by the Deans of Fordham College at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center.
In 2002, the CSP formally added an office at the Lincoln Center campus hiring a full-time staff person and extending community service resources offered to the LC community. The Community Service Program Office at LC has also grown tremendously offering a variety of special project and ongoing volunteer opportunities in the local community and across NYC.
In August of 2007, the CSP added another full-time staff person at the Rose Hill campus to better support Service-Learning Initiatives. We currently have four full-time staff members committed to empowering our students and local communities to create social change and an anti-racist society.