In normal times, Honors College students are required to complete one approved service each semester. These service opportunities are usually based in Camden, and are designed to be ways in which Honors College students support our university’s home city, and, they are also ways for Honors College students to work together in a collaborative manner. Of course, there is no safe way for us to do that this semester, so we have to think creatively.

Instead of going to a physical place in order to perform a service, we ask that for the fall 2020 semester, you learn more about topics related to Honors College service. After you do some research and reading, you will serve the local community by sending this letter to a local elected official. We are confident that your work will be true civic engagement. Additionally, you could choose to reach out to one of our typical service partners and ask them where they think your letter should go to. 

The topics for service categories include: 

Food Insecurity

Access to Education 

Fundraising Walks

Climate Control and Environmental Awareness

We ask that you mail these letters to the elected official who represents you based upon your hometown. This could mean that you perhaps write to your mayor, your township/city council representative, your state senator or state assembly representative, your Congressional House representative, your US Senate representatives, or perhaps your governor or the president. Each letter should be at least 250 words, and one paragraph should talk about what you have learned from the provided readings (or other readings you find), and then another paragraph should detail your advocacy about the topic. You can either write about this service category from an advocacy standpoint in the abstract, or, you can review our list of historical service providers to see who they would like your letter to be sent to. 

This service does require you to use at least one envelope and one stamp. Stamps can be purchased individually for 55 cents, or if you are looking to send the same letter to multiple representatives, you could chose to purchase a book of stamps, which is 20 stamps, for $11.00, all at your local post office, or at your favorite grocery store. Stamps and envelopes can also be ordered online from a variety of places. 

Below is an amateur drawing on how to address an envelope. For specific address information for your representative, a simple Google search will help you to identify your representative and provide you with their office address:

As you can see, my (fake) address is written in the top left corner (you should include your real address! This is just an example!). This is referred to as my Return Address for mailing purposes. The stamp always goes in the Top Right Corner. The name of the individual who should receive this letter is written in the middle of the envelope, and then that person’s address is written just beneath their name, first with the street address, and then the city, state, and zip code on the final line as shown above. I know this seems a little old-school, but you’ll probably need to mail something someday, if you haven’t already. 

In order to claim your service credit for the Fall 2020 semester, you will need to complete the Record of Honors Engagement, Fall 2020 form on the Honors College’s Engage page. After you have completed your Honors Event and your Campus Activities requirements, you will then need to just list the topic of the letter you have written, list the name of the individual you’re sending the report to, and finally, attach a photo of your filled out envelope next to the report you’re about to send. This means the photo should look like the below image, of a fully addressed and stamped envelope (unsealed), next to your 1-page mini-report, all ready to get folded into your envelope. You can also upload a screen-grab of an email that you’re going to send either via a representatives website, or, from your email platform. 

 

Below are selected readings for each of our main service topics. We invite you to do your own research, too. 

Food Insecurity

Help Fight Food Insecurity by Supporting Local Pantries, Organizations

https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2020/05/29/giveaway-targets-food-insecurity-camden-county-suburbs-hunger-south-jersey-covid-19-coronavirus/5284227002/

Pre-Pandemic Source: https://www-doh.state.nj.us/doh-shad/indicator/complete_profile/FoodInsecurity.html

Pre-Pandemic Source: https://www.njspotlight.com/2019/12/hunger-on-new-jersey-campuses-is-more-common-than-you-may-think/

Pre-Pandemic Source: https://www.inquirer.com/philly/news/new_jersey/at-rutgers-camden-some-students-come-hungry-for-food-philabundance-pantry-20171126.html

Pre-Pandemic Source: https://camdenhealth.org/a-striking-prevalence-of-food-insecurity-in-south-jersey/

Access to Education

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/camden/sections/education/articles/camden-school-district-receives-400k-to-purchase-laptops-for-remote-learning

https://www.inquirer.com/education/community-college-deal-tuition-rutgers-camden-20200113.html

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/10-barriers-to-education-around-the-world-2/

In Philadelphia’s education crisis, who is harmed?

Fundraising Walks

https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/WhitePaper_ac7c4ea5-a635-4338-8d1e-4aa736fbe263_b9a54c18-be5e-4cd8-b166-7442361fb64b.pdf

https://www.marchforbabies.org/EventInfo?EventID=20996

https://secure.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY20NER?pg=entry&fr_id=97318

To run, or not to run: Are charity races worth the effort?

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/11/charity-walkathons-are-suffering-heres-why/576097/

Climate Control and Environmental Awareness

https://www.inquirer.com/science/climate/delaware-river-port-authority-patco-solar-climate-change-new-jersey-philadelphia-20200805.html

https://climatetaskforce.rutgers.edu

Adaptation for Climate Change

http://www.camdencollaborative.com/environmental-justice.html

https://patch.com/new-jersey/cherryhill/gov-murphy-assess-storm-damage-cherry-hill-officials

Links to our Service Partners

Coming Soon!