Community Engagement Resources
Remember, you are not there to save other people, rather you are expressing servant leadership and upholding the social responsibility to commit time and efforts to your community.
- Dedication and commitment to serving can be greatly increased when you are doing something you are passionate about.
- Be aware you will encounter people who have had different experiences and backgrounds.
- Listen to what community members have to say and remember you are there to serve them.
Participating in service has both communal and personal benefits.
- Serving provides opportunities for stories and experiences to be shared between SMU and community members who may otherwise not have interacted with one another.
- Consistent service means there are ongoing conversations between SMU and community members regarding the issues faced.
- Community organizations appreciate students’ ability to offer new ideas, unique perspectives, and serve as youth role models within their volunteer roles.
- Research shows participating in service offers students an opportunity to strengthen their skills in several areas such as academic performance, leadership skills, and teamwork.
- Serving can improve students’ feeling of civic responsibility, desire to help others, and appreciation of other racial and cultural groups.
- Serving prepares students to be part of society as an active citizen.
| Social issues that
matter to you
|Your motivation||Transportation||Type of work||Making the commitment|
To get started, schedule a volunteer consultation with SCIE
- Log into Connect and go to the “Organizations” tab
- Search the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE)
- Under the “Forms” section, fill out the “Volunteer Consultation Request” form
The Community Engagement (CE) proficiency is required as part of the SMU Common Curriculum. The goal of this proficiency is for students to develop the “knowledge, skills, values, and motivation necessary to contribute to the civic life of communities.” SCIE can help you fulfill your CE Proficiency through:
- Alternative Breaks - A service-based student organization offering three to five day service trips to students during academic breaks to educate them about social issues in communities beyond Dallas.
- Engage Dallas - A place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on south and west Dallas.
- Mustang Heroes - A service-based student organization offering over 15 monthly, weekly, and bi-weekly service projects to students.
Concepts to Consider Prior to Serving
Student Volunteering Guide
Tips for “Serving Sensibly”
The White Savior Industrial Complex
Anti-Racism: the Cornerstone of Global Citizenship
Defining a Social Issue
What is a Social Problem?
Common Examples of Social Issues
Dallas Nonprofit Landscape
The Impact and Opportunity within the Texas Nonprofit Sector Report
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Quick Facts
Impact of COVID-19 on Community Organizations
United Way and OneStar Foundation Report Findings
Predominantly White Institutions (PWI)
Meanings and Implications
Recommendations for White Allies
Racism Still Exists Here
Frequently Asked Questions
SCIE can help connect you to a service opportunity that works for you! During our service consultation you’ll discuss the social issues which are most important to you and we will connect you to Dallas Community Organizations which serve that need.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your availability to set up an appointment.
Due to the volume of requests for volunteers that we receive, we serve primarily as an information bank and resource for our students. The more we know about your organization and the service opportunities offered, the better we are able to make a “match” or direct the opportunity to a student or student group. We provide information about organizations and opportunities to students, and it’s up to them to contact you directly to arrange the volunteer work. We’re unable to guarantee any volunteers, but we do our best to promote the opportunities to our students.
Fill out our Community Organization Database form here to be included in our database.