• 'This England' with the Robinson Shakespeare Company

    'This England' with the Robinson Shakespeare Company

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  • NHL, Blackhawks donate $100,000 to RCLC

    NHL, Blackhawks donate $100,000 to RCLC


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  • Fueling Success

    Fueling Success

    Food recovery program helps students excel in the classroom. Find out more about Cultivate


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  • Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem Tackles Pollution

    Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem Tackles Pollution


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  • Notre Dame recognized by the Carnegie Foundation

    Notre Dame recognized by the Carnegie Foundation

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  • RCLC Shakespeare, handwashing for COVID-19

    RCLC Shakespeare, handwashing for COVID-19

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Engagement during COVID-19

(revised August, 2021)

The University of Notre Dame continues to monitor the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local and state health officials regarding University operations during the Coronavirus pandemic. For fall 2021, the University will shift its community engagement practices toward in-person activities that are designed to promote learning and contribute to the common good while maximizing safety for both campus and community partners. Permission for in-person engagement is no longer required by University leadership in the COVID-19 Medical/Health Sub-Committee and the Operations Reopening Committee, though these bodies may re-assert such authority at any time, so please visit COVID.nd.edu regularly for updates.

In general, community engagement activities should be conducted with a full understanding of the vaccine rates by age and/or population in our local area. In St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties, this means that while off-campus, Notre Dame Students will be expected to wear masks in all indoor settings. As always, all on-campus and off-campus events with Minors should be conducted within the context of the University’s Protection of Children Policy. Safety measures, training, required waivers, and other resources can be found on the Protection of Children website.For questions and permissions that may not be addressed in these guidelines, consult with leaders in your primary domain: faculty and staff within their units (department chairs, deans, directors) and students with residence hall directors or appropriate Student Affairs staff.

On-Campus Engagement Requirements for Fall, 2021 

For fully vaccinated Notre Dame faculty, staff, and students, masking is optional indoors on campus, including in residence halls except in spaces and times where visitors are commonly present. Due to the university’s inability to verify the vaccination status of those outside our highly vaccinated campus community, and our inability to easily differentiate between those who are immediate members of the Notre Dame community versus visitors, masks will be required (except when eating and drinking) of both vaccinated and unvaccinated faculty, staff, and students in some campus spaces during times when those spaces are generally open to the public. Please observe signage in these facilities that indicates when and where masks are necessary.

Visitors to campus, regardless of vaccination status, are expected to wear masks inside campus buildings (except when eating and drinking), again in an effort to help us protect our community. Minors can participate in campus-based activities with a mask on. Masks are not required outdoors on campus. Every member of the Notre Dame community is expected to carry a mask at all times. It is the University’s stance that anyone who would prefer to wear a mask in any setting is welcome to do so. We should be kind and respectful of everyone in our community and of their choices at all times.

Off-Campus Engagement with Community Partners, Fall, 2021

Safety is paramount for Notre Dame community members, our community partners and student/staff/faculty members.  Please check covid.nd.edu frequently for updates on current health practices and safety protocols related to off campus engagement. This website represents Notre Dame’s official guidance for the University community in response to the pandemic.

Planning with Off-Campus Partners

  1. Prior to engagement, secure contact information with the partner’s leadership to facilitate rapid communication regarding possible COVID-19 exposure and subsequent steps to mitigate transmission of the virus.
  2. Prior to engagement, outline with partners and students the consequences for failure to comply with health protocols and agency requirements.
  3. Masks should be worn by Notre Dame participants engaged with partners off campus.
  4. Notre Dame students volunteering in an event or activity sponsored by a unit/club/dorm/center on campus must fill out this University Waiver before engaging with the community. Notre Dame students engaged as part of an academic course are not required to fill out a waiver. Waivers shall be maintained (physically or digitally) by the sponsoring unit for three years.
  5. Be aware of your personal space and conscious that some community partners may require social distancing even while masked inside their facilities.
  6. Be aware that older adults may want to avoid contact with Notre Dame students for safety purposes, even if masked. 
  7. Outdoor activities are encouraged, whenever possible, though masking is still encouraged around unvaccinated or otherwise vulnerable populations. 
  8. Use extra caution if planning any meals with community partners; avoiding this activity (particularly shared dishes, buffets, etc.) in the current environment is advised.
  9. Student organizations should observe Student Affairs guidance.
  10. Virtual options for engagement may still be an effective approach with certain partners, including activities such as:
    1. Pre-recorded content such as Fighting to Read, Fighting to Feed 
    2. Live virtual tutoring / mentoring, such as TutorND, that observe Protection of Children protocols for virtual engagement.


This document was developed by the Steering Committee of the Community Engagement Coordinating Council: Jay Caponigro, Jay Brandenberger, Jay Brockman, Jim Frabutt, Hope Hollocher, and Bill Purcell. The CECC is not a COVID decision-making body for the University, but you may send feedback on the document to caponigro.2@nd.edu or jbranden@nd.edu.  Revised 8.19.21.






Minding the (Housing) Gap

Author: Erin Blasko

Notre Dame partners with the city of South Bend to encourage affordable infill development on vacant lots across the city

October 18, 2021

Each summer, Notre Dame’s Center for Civic Innovation (CCI), part of the College of Engineering, operates an internship program in partnership with local governments and organizations in South Bend and Elkhart aimed at understanding and addressing some of the region’s most pressing issues, from clean air, water and soil to food security and affordable housing. (FULL ARTICLE WITH PHOTOS HERE)

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Dedication, blessing held for new Notre Dame Robinson Community Learning Center

Author: Erin Blasko

The Notre Dame Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) held a blessing and dedication Tuesday (Sept. 21) for its new home at Eddy and Howard streets in South Bend, across from the new Trader Joe’s store at Eddy Street Commons.

The event, which was delayed from last year because of the pandemic, featured remarks from Notre Dame Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan

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Community by Design

Author: Erin Blasko

Architecture students help reimagine South Bend neighborhood

William Street in South Bend was primarily residential until about 1940, when the city decided to extend it north to Portage Avenue. Designed to establish a new commuter corridor linking downtown to the far north side, the decision would have lasting consequences. Almost immediately, traffic increased, altering the historical character of the street and hastening its decline. Homes became apartments or businesses and then parking lots, as people abandoned the area for the suburbs...Read more

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