1. What is the Cowen Service Challenge?

In honor of President Cowen’s commitment to civic engagement and upcoming retirement after 15 years of service to Tulane, the city of New Orleans, and the field of civic engagement, we would like to challenge the Tulane community to work together and get more involved in public service. The Cowen Service Challenge aims to encourage alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Tulane to celebrate President Cowen’s legacy of supporting healthy and vibrant communities through direct community service. During the 2013-2014 school year, we would like not only to sustain the fantastic programs and activities that so many of us at Tulane are participating in, we would like to encourage our fellow Tulanians to do a little more.

2.  What is the goal?

As a community, we would like to contribute 750,000 hours of service.

3.  When is the Challenge?

The challenge runs from August 1, 2013 and May 2, 2014. 

4.  Who can participate? 

Every member of the Tulane community is invited to participate: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, retired faculty and staff, alumni, student and alumni families, and friends of Tulane. 

5.  Who is considered a friend of Tulane?

Our work as a university has an impact on many people's lives, even those not directly connected to the university. Friends of the university could be vendors or contractors, service providers or service recipients, faculty or staff spouses and families, donors or neighbors, athletic supporters, or anyone with a vested interest in the university.

6.  What is considered “community service”? 

The possibilities for volunteering and community service are endless. Some examples may include:

Volunteering with a non-profit agency
Supporting your neighborhood association
Attending community meetings
Working at your place of worship
Building or maintaining a community garden
Organizing or working at a community event
Coaching a sports team
Coordinating community clean-ups
Planning a community fundraiser
Volunteering at local schools
Creating community art spaces
Providing pro bono professional services or workshops
Serving on the PTA or a non-profit board of directors
Canvassing and surveying neighborhoods
Registering people to vote
Walking or running in an awareness run

7.  Do my community service hours have to be completed in New Orleans?

No, community service can place anywhere: in New Orleans, in your local community, or around the world. 

8.  Why should I register for the Challenge?

By registering, you can sign up for reminders about the challenge, get updates about the challenge progress, and find out about service opportunities.  Registration is not required to participate,  but provides us information on who in our community is participating.

9.  How do I register?

Click the "Register for Challenge" link above.

10.  How do I report my hours?

Click the "Report your Hours" link above.

11.  What is the difference between the individual reporting form and the group reporting form?

The individual reporting form is meant for activities that participants complete by themselves (i.e. serving on a non-profit board, volunteering with your place of worship, etc.).  On this form, you can only report hours for one person.  The group form allows you to report hours for groups of people that complete the same activities. One person enters in the information for one activity conducted by several people. For example,  if a student's family serves food at a soup kitchen over Thanksgiving break,  that family can report those hours, as a group, on the group reporting form.  

12.  I am an undergraduate student completing a service-learning course.  Should I report my hours here?

No,  service-learning course or public service internship hours should not be collected here.   These hours will be reported through the academic course timesheet.  If you are required to do service for a program,  check with that program's manager if you can use this reporting form as the official hours reporting system.

13.  How many times can I submit hours?

There is no limit for a person or group to submit hours.  The form will allow you to enter information for up to five activities per submission.  If you have more than five activities to submit,  you will need to complete the form a second time to report additional activities.

14.  What if I have a recurrent activity?  Do I need to submit an activity detail for each time I volunteer?

No,  in the "Date" entry, on both the individual and the group form,  you will enter ONGOING and the time period on which you are reporting.  When you enter in the "Hours Served,"  make sure you are entering the total hours served over that time period and not just the hours served during one service instance.

If you have a question not addressed here,  please email it to so we can add it to the list.


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000