Introduction to Service in Multicultural Communities – Section 1: Men’s Issues

July 16, 2004

Monday/Wednesday 8:00 – 10:00
Building 46, Room 103

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 10:00 – 11:00

(I welcome the opportunity to meet with you individually to discuss the course readings, your work in the community, or any other relevant/irrelevant topic that might be on your mind. Feel free to e-mail or call me for an appointment.)

The purpose of the CP ULR is to foster the development of self-reflective, culturally aware and responsive community participants through reciprocal service and learning. Students who fulfill the CP ULR by receiving a grade of “C” or better in this course will be able to:

1. Demonstrate critical self-reflection of one’s own assumptions and stereotypes.

2. Comprehend own social and cultural group identities and the relative privilege or marginalization of each.

3. Demonstrate intercultural communication skills.

4. Demonstrate knowledge of the demographics, socio-cultural dynamics and assets of a specific local community.

5. Examine and analyze a community issue in the context of systemic inequities.

6. Enter, participate in, and exit a community in ways that do not reinforce systemic injustice.

7. Demonstrate reciprocity and responsiveness in service work with community.

The focal theme for our section is men’s issues. Each student will be working with a community organization that is providing services to boys and/or men for a minimum of 30 hours over the course of the semester. The major question that we will examine is:

How are males socialized in American society to “act like men?” What is the impact of this process of socialization on:
-relationships between men?
-relationships between men and women?
-contemporary American society?

Other questions related to this theme that we will examine during the semester are:

• How are men traditionally “of service” to society?
• What are the benefits and challenges of being a man in contemporary American society?
• What is the source of male competitiveness, violence, and aggression?
• What are the relative biological and social components of the male role?
• How does male violence affect women?
• How do social institutions (school, work, sports, family, church, etc.) contribute to
and reinforce the male role?
• What is the role of the media in reinforcing the male role?
• How is the male role affected by issues of racism, classism, etc.?
• What is the connection between sexism, homophobia and masculinity?; and,
• How does homophobia affect the lives of all men?

Service learning is a method through which multicultural community engagement, academic subjects, skills, and values are taught. It involves active learning and reflection – drawing lessons from the experience of being of service. Service learning provides for the sharing of resources between higher education institutions and the community. This partnership provides opportunities for learning and serving by all involved. This process is called reciprocity.

In addition, the service learning process is a collaborative one. Students, faculty, and the community work together to identify specific needs, and to develop ways to address those needs while capitalizing on each partner’s strengths.

Critical reflection is fundamental to service learning. It helps ensure that the process of service and learning is one that mutually benefits the student and the community. Critical reflection transforms a service experience into a learning experience, emphasizing the critical examination of issues of social power, privilege and marginalization, while developing the student’s commitment to active and thoughtful community engagement.


• An electronic reader is available to students through the CSUMB library’s “electronic reserve” system. These readings are used by all courses that meet the CP ULR. The readings are available at: Select the course “SL 200.” The password is “serv”.

• Paul Kivel (1992). Men’s Work: How to Stop the Violence That Tears Our Lives Apart. Hazelden Press. [Available at the Bookstore]

• Additional readings will be distributed periodically throughout the semester.


Community-Based Component
You will work for a minimum of thirty hours during the semester at one of the organizations that have been identified as community partners for our class. These hours are required for successful completion of the course. In addition to direct work with “men’s issues,” your time in the community will be spent observing, listening, and engaging in dialogue with community members and organization staff. You will be working with people with whom you do and do not share common life experiences related to class, race, gender, ethnic background, language, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. One of the purposes of your community placement is to afford you a direct experience in a community or part of a community with which you do not have previous experience. Through this involvement, you will have the opportunity to be both teacher and learner, server and served. This experience will provide you with the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your local community.

Information about the pre-approved community partners is included at the end of this syllabus. You will have the opportunity to learn more about these programs through class presentations and site visits during class.

Classroom-Based Component
We will meet for four hours weekly in class to examine the relationship between class readings and service-site experiences through small and large group discussion, writing, experiential exercises, and the use of media. Classroom attendance is an integral component of the course. We will focus our reflection and learning on issues of service and systemic inequities, especially as they pertain to issues that men confront in life. Time spent in the classroom and in the community is of equal importance. Active involvement in both is crucial to gaining the competencies necessary for successful completion of the ULR in Community Participation. To be successful in this course, you must come to class on-time, and prepared to engage in the discussion of the relevant articles.


The assignments you will be expected to turn in are described below. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations please see me as soon as possible during office hours or make an appointment.

A. Service Learning Forms (10 Points)
The following forms are mandatory. Students will receive 10 points for completing these forms. The purpose of the forms and due dates are described below.

1. Service Learning Plan (Due September 24)
The Service Learning Plan gives you the opportunity to clarify service and learning objectives for your service learning experience. The form is to be completed by you, after discussing its contents with your site supervisor. Once completed, your site supervisor signs the form. You will give a copy to your site supervisor, turn one copy into me, and keep one copy for yourself

2. Service Learning Placement Form (Due ON-LINE September 24)
This form is available on-line in Planner Web ( form becomes the official record of your service-learning placement for the semester. Directions for filling out this form are included in the Service Learning Guide.

3. Student Evaluation of the Service Learning Experience (Due ON-LINE December 10)
This form is available on-line in Planner Web ( It allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your service learning experience, and provide feedback that will assist future students.

4. Service Learner Activity and Time Log (Due December 17)
This form assists you in tracking the activities and number of hours you serve at your service learning site. Once completed and approved by your site supervisor, it is the official record that you have completed the required hours for the course.

5. Student Performance Evaluation by Agency (Due September 17)
Your site supervisor will complete this assessment of your performance. This assessment is worth 15% of your grade. The assessment form must be completed, signed, and returned to the instructor in a sealed envelope.

B. Weekly Reflection Journal (30 Points) You are to keep a weekly reflection journal throughout the semester. The journals will be collected and reviewed each week during the semester. They will be returned with comments the following week. Weekly Reflection Journals will be collected 11 times during the semester. Journals are due at the beginning of class on Mondays.

The purpose of the Reflection Journal is to provide you with a forum for making meaning of your experience in the community, your experience in class and your analysis of the course readings. We will spend time in class discussing what makes a Reflection Journal an effective one. Full credit will be given to Reflection Journals that are turned in on time and include thoughtful reflections on: 1) experiences at service site; 2) class activities, discussion and lectures; 3) AND ALL course readings (whether we discuss them in class or not). Clear criteria that will be used for grading journals can be found in the Student Guide to Reflection.

C. Mid-Term Assignment: Male Socialization Autobiography (10 Points)
Due October 20 Details to follow.

D. Final Oral Presentation (5 Points)
December 8 and 10

Each student will have the opportunity to share their most significant learning with their classmates through a class presentation. Creativity is encouraged! Your project can be done independently or collaboratively. You will have 10- 15 minutes per person to highlight what you have learned from
1) your service site, 2) class activities and 3) class readings.

E. Final Portfolio (20 Points) Due December 17

Each student will prepare a portfolio that contains evidence of learning relative to each of the seven CP ULR Learning Outcomes. You will be able to add to your portfolio throughout the semester. Evidence of learning can be drawn from the weekly reflection assignments, the Taped Reflection Assignment, the Mid-Term Paper, and other relevant sources. More specific details will be provided.


All assignments are to be turned in on time. Any late assignments will lose points. You will receive clear grading criteria for each assignment, and information on how your work is assessed. If you are not pleased with the grade you received on an assignment, you are encouraged to rewrite or redo the project and resubmit it. You may receive full credit if the rewrite is of high quality. Those assignments submitted with little effort will be returned without a grade. You will be expected to resubmit the work within one week. Original work must be submitted with a rewrite.

Grading Appeal Policy

If you have evidence that the grade you were given on an assignment is not reflective of the quality of your work, you can write a brief explanation of why you believe this to be the case. Be sure to refer to grading criteria described in the syllabus or in handouts provided in class. I will review your explanation and re-evaluate your work. You are asked to wait 24 hours before writing your explanation to allow time for you to review my comments and to reflect on the quality of your work.

Class Preparation and Attendance Policy

Of course you are expected to come to class, and to be there on time. This interactive, experiential class requires your involvement. Because class participation is an important part of your grade, if you’re not there, or are late, you can’t participate. In addition, you are expected to reflect on what you learn from class in your journal, and if you aren’t there, you won’t be able to reflect on what you learned. More than three absences, or frequently arriving to class late will negatively impact your grade. Regular attendance and promptness significantly help your grade. If you must miss a class due to the celebration of religious or cultural holidays not observed by the university, please discuss this with me in advance so we can make any necessary arrangements.

You are expected to come to class prepared. This means that you have completed all reading assignments and are familiar enough with the content to engaged actively in large and small group discussion, or in individual written reflection in class. If you miss a class, you are expected to obtain from your buddy (a classmate you will choose to be paired with): class announcements, handouts and a summary of class content that you missed. You are expected to have this information before you return to class.

Extra Credit – You will have the opportunity to earn extra credit by attending public events that are relevant to our topic of community participation. To receive extra credit, you must write a reflective essay that is submitted to the instructor. Each reflective essay will receive I point toward the participation component of the grade.

Reflective Journal – 30 points (3 points maximum for each of 11 weeks)
Mid-Term Paper – 10 points
Oral Presentation – 5 points
Final Portfolio – 20 points
In-Class Participation – 10 points
Agency Assessment – 15 points (evaluation from service site supervisor)
Service Learning Forms – 10 points
Total = 100 points

No letter grades will be given until the end of the semester. Each assignment or project will be returned with written feedback (both positive and constructive) and with the number of points awarded. Final letter grades will be based on the following scale: 90-100= A- to A+; 80-89= B to B+; 70-79= C- to C+; 60-69= D- to D+; and 59 and below = F. At mid-semester, each student will sign up for a 10 minute meeting where we will exchange feedback about the class, about your placement site and about your progress to date. To successfully assess for the ULR you must complete at least 30 hours of service and earn a C or better.

Students with disabilities who need accommodations, please see me by the end of the third week of class, September 12. Every effort will be taken to facilitate your successful completion of both the classroom-based and community-based component of this course. For more information, please contact Margaret Keith, Student Disability Resources (582-3672).

SL 200S, Section 1: Men’s Issues (Fall 2003)
Course Overview

Part I: Service, Community, Difference and Identity (Weeks 1-5) 
Wk. # and Theme Monday 8:00 – 10:00 Wednesday 8:00 – 10:00 Service Week
Week 1
Course Intro
Aug 27
Week 2
What is Service?
Sep 1
Sep 3
DUE: Taped Reflection
Week 3
Service, Diversity, and Community
Sep 8
DUE: Weekly Reflection #1
Sep 10
Week 4
Working with Community Assets
Sep 15
DUE: Weekly Reflection #2
Sep 17
Week 5
Compassion and Blame
Sep 22
DUE: Weekly Reflection #3
Sep 24
SL Plan
– On-Line Placement Form
: Week #1
Part II. Male Socialization and Men’s Issues (Weeks 6-9) 
Week 6
Male Socialization:
Nature and/or
Sep 29
DUE: Weekly Reflection #4
Oct 1 Service
Week #2
Oct 6
Oct 8
Week 7
The Male Role
Oct 13
DUE: Weekly Reflection #5
Oct 15 Service
Week #3
Week 8
Men, Sex, Drugs & Violence
Oct 20
DUE: Weekly Reflection #6
Oct 22 Service
Week #4
Week 9
Men and War
Oct 27
DUE: Weekly Reflection #7
Oct 29 Service
Week #5
Part III. Systems of Oppression and Maleness (Weeks 10-13) 
Week 10
Systems of Oppression
Nov 3
DUE: Mid-Term Paper
Nov 5 Service
Week #6
Week 11
Maleness and Classism
Nov 10
DUE: Weekly Reflection #8
Nov 12 Service Week #7
Week 12
Males and Racism
Nov 17
DUE: Weekly Reflection #9
Nov 19 Service
Week #8
Week 13
Maleness and Homophobia
Nov 24
DUE: Weekly Reflection #10
Nov 26 Service
Week #9
Part IV. Building More Just & Equitable Communities (Week 14-16) 
Week 14
Allies & Resisters
Dec 1
DUE: Weekly Reflection #11
Dec 3 Service
Week #10
Week 15
Rediscovering Humanity
Dec 8
Dec 10
Week 16 Dec 15
Dec 17

School: California State University, Monterey Bay
Professor: Dr. Seth Pollack
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