Advancing Democracy through Scarlet Service
At Rutgers, we teach our students to appreciate the differences between us, participate in civil discourse, and gain valuable skills that empower them to better the world.
A civil society requires the participation of the full spectrum of its citizens. And participation in a productive democracy requires knowledge, engagement, and service. There is no greater mechanism than higher education for inspiring each of these.
At Rutgers, we call on our students to learn, to excel, and to serve. Accordingly, Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway announced the creation of the Rutgers Summer Service Internship (RSSI) Initiative during his November 2021 inauguration address. The program reflects Holloway’s vision, detailed in an essay in the New York Times, for uniting a divided country through civic service.
The Rutgers Summer Service Internship initiative will offer up to 150 second- and third-year students paid summer public service internships in Camden, Newark, or New Brunswick. “Students will work for nonprofits, serve the broader community, and gain the opportunity to learn about people who are unlike themselves—who face different struggles and come from different backgrounds, countries, races, or religions,” said Holloway. “Participating in this program will make our students better citizens and our world a better place.”
The Rutgers Summer Service Internship initiative is part of a broader Scarlet Service initiative, which provides vital opportunities for students to serve society through public service internships, volunteerism, nonprofit work, and more. Students gain hands-on experience as they confront issues that impede our progress and competitiveness as a nation: public health deficits, infrastructure problems, environmental degradation, educational inequities, and much more. They come away from these experiences with a more profound understanding of themselves, their fellow humans, and their roles in advancing the common good.