Lives of Commitment empowers first-year students to engage off-campus with the broader Twin Cities community and build community on-campus with other students, staff, and faculty committed to social change. Groups of 4-8 students volunteer at a community organization once per week, often in English Language Learning programs for immigrants and refugees, or in literacy & homework programs for K-12 students. Participants also meet twice per month to share in large group dinner conversations, small group reflections, and immersive community events. This program has been a catalyst for generations of Macalester students seeking to live an enriching and justice-oriented life — there’s no better way to get to know your surroundings!

A pre-orientation retreat starting Monday, Aug. 21st immerses students in both Minneapolis and St. Paul to help them become active and knowledgeable community members from day one. On the retreat, students visit immigrant communities and meet with community partners. Participants also spend time learning about each other’s experiences and commitments, and building a strong and supportive community for the transition to college.

Throughout the school year, involvement in LOC includes 2-3 hours of weekly community engagement, active participation in twice-monthly small and large group discussions and activities, and a strong motivation to explore one’s own identities, beliefs and values. Group meetings establish open and welcoming spaces for reflection and community building, and often lead to strong and lasting bonds.

LOC is a year-long commitment and is only open to incoming first-year students. Applications will be assessed on (1) one’s interest in reflecting more deeply on their own experiences; (2) one’s desire to build a supportive community of peers, and (3) one’s curiosity to learn about and engage with Twin Cities communities.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact Sam Wegner at .