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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, students receive support to make a sustained service commitment for three or more quarters through signature Stanford programs, student-led 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.

How does Cardinal Commitment work?

Join a participating Commitment program or organization, then:

  • Declare—submit a one-line personal mission statement via the Cardinal Commitment Declare Form, found on the Cardinal Commitment web page.
  • Engage—serve for three or more quarters with a qualifying student-led organization or Stanford program that provides:
    • Ongoing mentorship to support you in your Commitment;  
    • Opportunities to address a social problem or societal need and to critically examine public issues or explore your civic identity; and
    • Training in ethical and effective service to build your knowledge and skills, enhance your awareness, and meet people who care about service.
  • Certify—affirm that all service requirements have been met and plan next steps in your service journey via the Cardinal Commitment Certify Form, found on the Cardinal Commitment web page.

I want to be involved in Cardinal Commitment.  How do I get started?

If you know the type of service (service pathway) or type of issue you want to be involved in, visit the list of Cardinal Commitment programs on the Cardinal Commitment website.  Get involved with the program according to the program description.  Once you’ve connected to the program, you can submit your Cardinal Commitment Mission Statement via the Cardinal Commitment Declare Form, found on the Cardinal Commitment web page.

If you are unsure of the issue or type of service to which to make a commitment, stop by the Haas Center for advising from one of our knowledgeable advisors.  Link to advising appointment.

What are Cardinal Commitment programs?

Cardinal Commitment programs are staff-run programs, student groups or community organizations that have embedded the opportunity for students to engage for three quarters to address a social problem, societal need or community issue.  All Cardinal Commitment programs provide ongoing mentorship, opportunities to reflect and debrief on the service and embed Stanford’s principles of ethical and effective service.


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