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Academic Service Learning
California's Call to Service

California State Student Association

Long Beach Office Sacramento Office
401 Golden Shore, Suite 135 925 L Street, Suite 385
Long Beach, CA 90802-4210 Sacramento, CA 95814-3703

(562) 951-4025 Fax (562) 951-4962 (916) 441-4514 Fax (916) 441-6350

Resolution on the Governor’s Community
Service Graduation Requirement

Whereas, Governor Gray Davis has called for a community service requirement for undergraduate students as a condition of graduation from the California State University, University of California, and Community Colleges; and

Whereas, The California State Student Association has long held that voluntary public service is a deserving core value that produces benefit not only to the community, but also the individual in the form of enhanced self-awareness; cultural awareness and appreciation; and civic mindedness; and

Whereas, The California State Student Association agrees with the Academic Senate CSU in its position as stated in Resolution AS-2455-99/AA Response to Governor Davis’ Announcement to Develop a Plan for Required Public Service in urging support of the efforts of the campus community to identify and provide opportunities and incentives for meaningful service activities rather than mandating service experience; and

Whereas, The California State Student Association acknowledges with pride the approximately 28 million hours of voluntary community service provided by 49% of our student body (1994 Student Needs and Priorities Survey) and commends them to the attention of the Governor; and

Whereas, CSU campuses have developed numerous community service opportunities and programs in which students may participate such as America Reads, America Counts, Pre-Collegiate Academic Development, Human Corps, EPIC, Upward Bound, VISTA, and AmeriCorps; and

Whereas, Students on campuses have organized such programs as Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) where 1,964 volunteers provided 155,000 hours of community service and Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) where 200 volunteers provided free legal information to over 15,065 community members (Associated Students, CSU Chico) 1998-99); Community Based Learning and Service Center (CLASC, CSU Fullerton); and the Youth Educational Services (Y.E.S House) with 300 volunteers reaching 2000 community members (Associated Students, Humboldt); and

Whereas, Student leaders across the system spend countless hours engaged in advocacy on behalf of their constituents at both the campus and systemwide levels on policy, legislation, operational, and other matters that most profoundly affect us; and

Whereas, The California State Student Association feels that Governor Gray Davis failed to acknowledge the commitment and dedication to service already being exemplified by the students of the State of California and the CSU system in particular; and

Whereas, While we embrace the ethic and philosophy of service to each other and our community at large, the decision to engage in service is a personal one and based on many factors unique to the individual; and

Whereas, We feel that mandatory volunteerism will not teach a "service ethic" as a lasting value, but instead instill in students a disdain for volunteerism that will remain with them for a lifetime; and

Whereas, We feel that decisions as to the breadth and content of our undergraduate education are best left to academic professionals who are most capable of designing curriculum and not to legislators whose collective values change with the tide of politics; therefore be it

Resolved, That the California State Student Association praises the valuable and lasting contributions of our students to countless volunteer activities which result in the uplifting of individuals and society as a whole; and be it further

Resolved, That the people of this State are well served by the outcome of their investment in those seeking a higher education in the form of a vibrant, dynamic, capable, and strong social and economic community; and be it further

Resolved, That the California State Student Association will continue to support the existing Community Outreach Programs on each campus and we will stand behind community service opportunities; and be it further

Resolved, That the California State Student Association is strongly opposed to any mandate on volunteerism; and be it further

Resolved, That the California State Student Association’s Board of Directors will work closely with their respective campus Academic Senates in the assessment of the impact of the Community Service requirement so that all may gain a better understanding of the many issues involved including resource allocation, time to degree; student work, unit load, and family responsibilities; earning credit; faculty and staff workload, and potential liability; and be it further

Resolved, That the California State Student Association will revisit this matter upon the completion of the Assessment process being conducted by the Academic Senate CSU; and be it finally

Resolved, That copies of this Resolution be distributed widely, including, but not limited to, the Honorable Gray Davis, Secretary of Education Gary Hart, CSSA Board of Directors, the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, the Academic Senate CSU, CSU Campus Presidents, CSU Associated Students, the CSU Labor Council, Campus and General Media, the United States Student Association, the University of California Student Association, and the California Student Association of Community Colleges, and the Chairs of the Assembly Higher Education and Senate Education Committees.

Adopted by the Board of Directors of the California State Student Association

October 31, 1999

Stephanie Rahlfs, Chair


Content Contact:
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Last Updated: April 29, 2008