Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu

Lives of Commitment

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 in late August 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 a wide swath of metro-area 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. The commitment element of LOC is not simply one of living out your values; it’s also a golden opportunity to practice sound time management! You will be pulled in many different directions and interested in a wide range of opportunities — while LOC should not prevent you from exploring all that Macalester and the Twin Cities have to offer, it should be an experience you prioritize and make time for!

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.

Please contact Sam Wegner ([email protected]) with any questions about the program!