Bates Community Liaison Program

Community Liaisons lead student clubs and athletic teams in community-engaged work. Using an assets-based approach to the off-campus community, Community Liaisons develop activities, programs, and partnerships designed to encourage civic learning and action among their peers. The Community Liaison Program was unanimously endorsed by the Bates College Student Government (BCSG) in 2013. It is supported by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships and Campus Life.

What are some resources for Community Liaisons?

  • The AmeriCorps VISTA, among other staff at the Harward Center, are available to provide information about prospective and ongoing community projects and partners; capacity-building trainings, workshops, and reflection opportunities; and information and consultations about program funding and evaluation.
  • The Community Liaison Mini-Grant Program provides funds to support the materials costs of community-engaged activities led by Community Liaisons. Mini-grant funds may be used to support already existing partnerships/programs or to seed new ones. Preference will be given to projects designed to establish or strengthen sustained partnerships between Bates and the off-campus community rather than one-time events; however, if the latter are developed in direct response to a community-identified need, they will also receive serious consideration for funding. Mini-grant proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis. To ensure proper consideration, proposals should be submitted at least a week prior to the activity the proposed funds would support; more lead time is even better. Decisions about proposals will be communicated via email within 2-3 days of proposal submission. Click here to access the mini-grant application form.
  • All activities organized or supported by Community Liaisons should be recorded and evaluated at their conclusion using this simple form.
  • A Community Liaison email listserv is used to communicate information and is an avenue for collaboration and consultation among Community Liaisons and with the committee that reviews programs and allocates mini-grant funds.
  • Campus Life Office
  • Bates College Student Government

Who is a Community Liaison?

Similar to the traditional executive board positions in a student organization (president, vice president, treasurer, secretary), each student club and athletic team elects, selects, or appoints a Community Liaison who serves for the duration of an academic year. Community Liaisons are primarily responsible to their club or team but also work with and are resourced by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships and Campus Life.

What is the Community Liaison position? Community Liaisons are student leaders who:

  • Educate their club/team about the unique character, assets, and needs of the local community
  • Mobilize club/team members to participate in or host at least one civic effort per year that utilizes the strengths or interests of the club/organization
  • Build their skills through a number of optional trainings and workshops coordinated by the Harward Center
  • Help club/team members access grant programs, leadership development opportunities, community events, and other benefits relevant to their current work and future careers

How does the Community Liaison position fit into the mission statement of BCSG and Bates in general?

  • The cultivation of “informed civic action” is central to the mission of the College. As such it belongs to all members of the Bates community.
  • Student clubs and organizations are a fantastic resource for the civic mobilization, growth, and leadership development of Bates students and for strengthening college-community relations.

Interested in learning more about the Community Liaison position?

Contact: Darby Ray, Director, Harward Center for Community Partnerships for more information!