COVE Philosophy - Volunteering - Community Service Skip Navigation

About the COVE

As the center of student service and volunteering at Colgate, our four-squared philosophy aims to create the belief among students that doing something is the first step; to teach life skills; and to work with the students toward social change.

Annual Report

While we are a forward-looking organization on campus, we do take the time to reflect on our past experiences to see how we can grow in the future.


Press Release

April 19, 2013 - Colgate University Earns Place on National Honor Roll for Community Service
Colgate University was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.


Our Philosophy

Direct Service
When you think of community service, you likely are thinking about direct service. Serving the homeless in a soup kitchen, tutoring a child, volunteering at the fire department, or assisting the elderly at a retirement community are all manifestations of direct service.

The COVE is an umbrella organization for over 30 student groups that perform different kinds of direct service.
Campus Impact
The university setting is a vibrant environment that poses many opportunities to experience service. We're here to encourage everyone on campus to get involved.

COVE teams are constantly in partnership with other groups around campus - Colgate Activities Board, the ALANA Cultural Center, religious life, athletics, and fraternity and sorority life, to name a few.

Presentations and speeches in classrooms are a fun and educational way to spread the word about service. We also take advantage of WRCU, Colgate's radio station, the Maroon-News, the university's weekly newspaper, the website, and bulletin boards around campus to get everyone involved.
Student Growth
Community service isn't just about helping those who are disadvantaged; it is also about the learning, enjoyment, skills, and experiences of the volunteers. Community service presents innumerable opportunities for you to grow as a leader. Many of our volunteers claim to learn as much from their work with the COVE as they do in a class.

We strongly encourage and practice reflection on experiences and activities that students have with the COVE. This allows you to consider the full value of what you've done, and exposes you to different perspectives and opinions on sometimes tough or controversial subjects. Through lectures, development sessions, and informal chats, we make your time working with the COVE as enriching as possible.
Social Change
What is community service if it's not done because you care? Meaningful service work involves a greater goal. If we are touched by the gratefulness of a customer at a soup kitchen, we will be delighted to serve them.

If we are outraged at educational inequity because of one's socioeconomic position, we wouldn't think twice about tutoring to change one child's life. If we are shocked by ignorance of genocide in the Sudan, we will make sure that the people who can change things care.

We combine all of the direct service we perform, the partners we work with, and the strength of our leaders to promote real social change in the world. Lobbying politicians, enacting new campaigns, and sponsoring lectures by political figures are just a few of the things we encourage you to do!