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Frequently Asked Questions

DGen Office

What is Cardinal Commitment?

Cardinal Commitment is one of four major areas of Stanford’s Cardinal Service initiative. In Cardinal Commitment, individual students receive support to make a sustained service commitment for three or more quarters through signature Stanford programs, student service organizations, or community organizations. Students apply what they are learning to make a difference and be part of a tradition of service at Stanford.

I'm interested in Cardinal Commitment. How do I get started?

  1. Identify a community challenge you want to work on. If you are unsure, stop by the Haas Center to talk with one of our knowledgeable advisors
  2. Visit the Cardinal Commitment opportunities web page to find a registered Cardinal Commitment organization (student group, Stanford program, community organization) that can give you an opportunity to engage with that challenge and that can provide you a Cardinal Commitment mentor (student leader, Stanford faculty/staff, community organization staff) willing to support you and discuss your service experience. Haas Center advisors can help you with the decision, too!
  3. Reflect, using the Pathways of Public Service as a tool, on how best to address the challenge.
  4. Work with your Cardinal Commitment organization and mentor to learn about the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service and how to incorporate what you've learned into your public service work. 

Once I'm ready, what are the steps to make a Cardinal Commitment?

  1. Start by creating a personal mission statement that you submit via the Cardinal Commitment Declare form.
  2. Do the work for at least three quarters, keeping your personal mission statement and the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service in mind, and discussing your experience with your Cardinal Commitment mentor.  Your experience is an opportunity to address a community challenge, critically examine public issues, and explore your civic identity.
  3. When your Commitment draws to a close, Certify your work—affirming that all requirements have been met and reflecting on your experience. 

What are Cardinal Commitment Organizations/Programs?

They are staff-run programs, registered student organizations, or registered community organizations. The Cardinal Commitment team has verified that these organizations and programs can potentially provide an at student an opportunity to make a Cardinal Commitment by providing opportunities to serve, a mentor, and exposure to the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service.  

What is a "registered student organization"?

It's a student organization that's been through the Cardinal Commitment vetting process to become a Cardinal Commitment Organization/Program and can provide students with a service opportunity that will allow them to complete a Cardinal Commitment. 

How does my student organization register as a Cardinal Commitment Organization?

Complete this form and meet with Cardinal Commitment staff to discuss your group. The form and meeting will try to ensure you can provide students with all they need to engage and complete a Cardinal Commitment. Unless there are issues with what you've submitted, that's it! Your group is registered! 

Can non-registered student organizations use resources?

Student organizations that have registered with Cardinal Commitment received priority and can use the resource request systems directly, but a non-registered student organization can work with Haas Center staff to explore whether an exception for a particular program or occasion can be made. 

Do you have a question that's not answered here? Contact Kelly Beck.