Relevant Action Guides
- Discuss with your community partner what students should do to be respectful and safe in their community, and adjust the “Contact Information and Off-Campus Safety Tips for Students Doing SLCE” document as needed to customize it for your course and the SLCE location. Distribute it to your students before they set out for the SLCE experience. Set aside class time for discussion of and preparation for the SLCE activity.
- SLS offers a general SLCE orientation for students in SLS-affiliated classes at the beginning of each semester. It is usually held in the evening and in tandem with a session of SLS 101. Check our Events page to find out when this semester’s orientation is, and please urge your students to attend.
- If at all possible, visit the SLCE site before students undertake their SLCE activity. If you can’t, please make sure you’ve met with your community partner to agree on activities, expectations, and logistics. If you are engaging in a semester-long partnership, not just a single service event, then please communicate with the SLS Community Engagement Specialist. With her support, use our Collaborator Agreement to create a shared set of expectations, processes, and goals with your partner at the beginning of the semester.
- Review any SLCE assignments and expectations with students at the beginning of the term so they fully understand their responsibilities and plan accordingly.
This checklist covers lots of bases and is a handy reference point for you in the weeks leading up to the SLCE event you’ve organized for your students. Ideally it is used in conjunction with the resource below, a much more detailed document that is great for students as you and your community partner refine logistical details and plans for the SLCE activity.
*We recommend you use this to anchor your in-class SLCE preparation with students.*
This document is designed to be printed and/or digitally distributed to students before their SLCE experience and reviewed in class. Customize the document with guidance from your community partner, location and time of your course event/program, and contact information for you and your community partner. The sections on General Guidance, Emergencies, and Transportation will prepare students to stay safe in a variety of situations. Phone Preparation (ie installing GT safety-related apps) is also included in this document.
If your students will be going off campus as part of their SLCE experience, ask them to read and sign the general liability waiver at the beginning of the semester. (Students over the age of 18 will sign for themselves; students under 18 will need a guardian to sign it.) This waiver covers a broad swath of activities and will likely suit your purposes. Please collect the waivers and store them until the end of the term, at which point you should dispose of them securely.
- Respect local citizens and community partners. Honor diversity and differences.
- Maintain group cohesion: remember that program/project activities take priority over personal interests.
- Be polite and listen to one another. Look for compromises.
- While group travel and unexpected occurrences can be stressful, try to remain calm.
- Know the extent of your role; don’t engage in activities beyond the scope of your class.
- If you feel unsafe, trust your instincts. Leave the site and inform your professor and community partner.
- If an incident occurs, first contact emergency services (police, fire, and ambulance) as soon as possible. Authorities will be able to assist and document the incident.
- As soon as you can do so safely, contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Life and the Dean of Students, during regular business hours, at (404) 894-6367. For after-hours emergencies, contact the Georgia Tech Police Department at (404) 894-2500 and request that the “Dean on Call” be contacted.
- Tell a friend or classmate your destination and when you expect to return
- Walk with another person, especially at night or in neighborhoods with which you are not familiar
- Stay aware of your surroundings; don't wear headphones or stare at your phone
- If traveling near campus after dark, use Stingerette by calling or using the LiveSafe app (see Phone Preparation section).
- Avoid bringing valuables with you, but if you have any in your car, stow them out of sight. Always close your windows and lock your car.
- Drive carefully: Tech does not insure you. In the event of an accident, the insurance that covers your vehicle (your own insurance if it is your car) is what will provide coverage.
- Know the exact address and parking situation before you depart campus
- Park in open, visible locations and consider that it may be dark when you return.
- When returning to your car, have your keys ready and check all sides of the car. Once inside, lock the doors immediately.
NOTE: Faculty who wish to transport students in their own vehicles off campus have liability coverage from the Institute if the off-campus activity is central to course aims (for example, you are focused on water quality and have arranged for your students to do stream-testing). However, offering to drive students who have chosen to do service off-campus (say, a weekend service day that staff, faculty, and students are participating in) does not constitute the “duties” of your job, and therefore you would not be insured by the Institute. In that case, should anything happen to you and the students you are transporting, you would indeed be held personally liable. If you would like to support students in an activity off campus that is not central to your course aims, then we encourage you to rent a car, use a ride service, or use a CRC vehicle.
- When riding the bus, wait at a stop that is well-lit and near foot traffic or businesses.
- Travel with a friend or classmate whenever possible. Stay awake and alert.
- Use the MARTA app or the Transit app (see Phone Preparation) to plan your trip and track the transit vehicles so that you don't have to wait longer than necessary.
- Have your Breeze Card ready to tap in when entering the train station and ready to tap out with exiting the train station.
- If you're taking a bus, enter at the front doors and tap your Breeze Card on the machine next to the driver. If you don't have any trips loaded on your card, you will have to feed $2.50 into the machine, which only accepts exact change. A round-trip journey for a student who does not already have a Breeze Card costs $7. Breeze Card machines are available at all MARTA stations.
- Sit near the aisle, bus driver, or exit so you can move away from an unwanted situation.
- Keep your bags on your lap, between your feet, or in your arms.
- Be respectful of other riders; don't have a loud phone conversation or play music without headphones.
Bring students, partners, other community contacts, and colleagues together to celebrate concrete project achievements and the personal, academic, and community-led learning and teaching. Take time to talk about accomplishments but save time for informal conversations, since it is during these moments—through jokes, stories, and common and enjoyable experiences—that strong relationships are built.
Checklist for wrapping up a community-engaged course:
- Celebrate student and community achievements at a party/reception.
- Encourage students to think about how they might want to build from, continue, or pivot from the work (the best community engaged teaching projects help guide students in thinking about their future role in volunteer social justice projects or professional work).
- Host final student presentations on campus and invite partners and anyone in their network to the presentations or events (see guide to Georgia Tech Public Relations and Media for tips on event planning on campus).
- Attend community-based events or co-host them at your partner’s site.
- Use the events to generate publicity; share the projects online, in the community, and at the university.
- If you won’t have much time at the end of the semester, ask students to weave celebrations and final presentations with partners into their semester planning and final projects.