August 18: Community Engagement Days

Dear CSB/SJU community,

The new block schedule offers a tremendous opportunity with three days in the fall semester and three days in the spring semester where classes will not be held. Celebrated as Community Engagement Days, these days are envisioned as an opportunity for highlighting signature events and meaningful campus experiences for all. They offer a dedicated space for the important learning that happens beyond the classroom at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s.

Community Engagement Days fall on the following Fridays: September 25, October 23, November 20, February 19 and March 19.

A committee of faculty and campus programming leaders have been working together to craft the vision and intent for Community Engagement Days and will continue to curate the experiences throughout the year.

The Community Engagement Day vision includes:

  • Signature Events – These will be curated events that include speakers, performances and pre-professional development opportunities. Signature Events will incorporate themes that are deeply valuable to our community and offer benefits to students across academic disciplines. No other programming can conflict with a signature event.
  • Experiential Events – Students can choose from multiple concurrent experiential events on CE Days. These events offer a place for departments, campus partners and students to integrate experiences alongside the signature events. Experiential events also provide students with the opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics and participate in activities or discussions that match their interests.
  • Programming will happen after 10 a.m. each CE Day and will often have highlighted opportunities in the evening, especially for performances.
  • Programming that can count as FAE, or as ARTE options, will be integrated so students can fulfill these requirements in creative and interesting ways.
  • It is a priority to incorporate meaningful experiences to explore diversity, equity and gender as a community.
  • Community Engagement Days offer us the opportunity to highlight other themes this year in an intentional manner. Examples may include, interfaith cooperation featuring Eboo Patel, the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, and our annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • All programs will follow a hyflex model, allowing students and community members to connect virtually and in-person when able/appropriate. Meaningful outdoor activities are also encouraged as possibilities.

Participation in Community Engagement Days:

  • Programs offered on these days will be curated. If you are a department or student organizations and would like to have your event or experience considered, we would love to hear about it! Please complete the Community Engagement Day Event Submission Form with as much information as possible. Events that are not selected for Community Engagement Days are encouraged to find a spot during the CE weekend. Only curated events will happen on Community Engagement Fridays to manage resources and nurture engagement.
  • Proposed events will be assessed on a rubric that will consider:
    • applicability to the Institutional Learning Goals
    • complementary nature to the signature events
    • value for the entire campus
    • creativity/uniqueness
    • cross community interaction and/or transformative inclusion experiences
  • Departments offering events are encouraged to spread out their participation so that CE Days can highlight a variety of campus initiatives and opportunities.

While we will share signature events in advance, a release of the full schedule for each CE Day will happen on a rolling basis two weeks before in order to encourage ongoing inspiration and access. Event submissions for each CE Day are due by 5 p.m. on the prior CE Day.

We encourage submissions for consideration for all events at this time. They are due no later than Thursday, August 27 for the September 23 Day. The September 23 signature event will be announced soon.

We hope to create enticing, enriching opportunities on Community Engagement Days — as an integrated key part of the CSB/SJU experience within the block schedule. We want to affirm and encourage all students who participate. Participating students will be entered into a randomized drawing for gift cards. Each CE Day, four students who participate in the event will be selected for a $20 gift card. Students who participate in all three days during the semester will be entered into a randomized drawing for two $50 gift cards.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Claire Haeg, Professor, Political Science

Tanya Gertz, Executive Director of Campus Programming

Shane Miller, Professor, Communications and Director of Integrations Curriculum

Lacey Solheid, Associate Director of Programming and Orientation

Brandyn Woodard, Director Intercultural and International Student Services