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Incoming First-Years and Transfer Students, we have a program just for you!

DMAD: Dukes Making a Difference - August 17-20, 2022

  • Move in early
  • Make new friends
  • Volunteer with local non-profits
  • Make Harrisonburg your new home

Cost: $50, includes housing, meals, and transportation (scholarships available!)

DMAD brings 100 New Dukes together before Weeks of Welcome. You'll volunteer with a non-profit partner in a small group led by students and CS-L staff. You'll have the opportunity to meet other service-minded New Dukes, to learn about Harrisonburg's most pressing social issues, and to interact with some of the amazing individuals and organizations making your new home a better place for all of its residents. You'll also get to explore Harrisonburg, including its diverse and delicious local restaurants.

Jump start your JMU journey with DMAD! 

Registration is closed. If you would like to get on our listserv, please email

  1. Because you want to volunteer 
  2. Because you want to learn about and explore Harrisonburg 
  3. Because you want to meet a bunch of other New Dukes who also care about serving their community 

(Bonus: You get to move in early.) 

DMAD will begin on Wednesday, August 17 and end on Saturday, August 20. As a DMAD participant, you’ll move into your residence hall early. DMAD ends in time for you to fully participate in all Weeks of Welcome events (though you’ll have a head start in making friends, getting involved, and making campus and Harrisonburg home). 

DMAD participants will be able to move in to the residence halls from 9am-Noon on Wednesday, August 17. 

The $50 participation fee includes early access to your residence hall, nine meals, transportation, and all volunteering costs. Need-based scholarships are available! 

We’ll eat some of our meals on campus and some in the community. Harrisonburg is full of great restaurants. Lots of them have relationships with local farmers and seek to highlight Shenandoah Valley produce. Thanks to our diverse local population, we also have great options featuring cuisines from around the world. We’ll select a few of our favorites for you to choose from. 

In your own bed! DMAD programming will typically end in the early evening. You’ll have some free time before heading back to your residence hall to rest up. 

All New Dukes (incoming first-years and transfers) are welcome! 

Our service will address one of four social issues that are priorities for our office: 

  • Ending Hunger and Homelessness 
  • Supporting Youth and Education 
  • Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees 
  • Protecting the Environment 

We’ll finalize our community partners (that’s what we call the non-profit organizations we volunteer with) by mid-July, and they’ll let us know how we can be most useful to them. For a sense of what we might be doing, recent local projects have included: 

  • Cleaning at a local homeless shelter 
  • Building raised beds for a community garden 
  • Removing litter from a local waterway 
  • Sorting and arranging donations at a thrift store 
  • Providing critical home repairs or modifications for a low-income homeowner 
  • Cleaning the barn of a local therapeutic riding center 
  • Performing trail maintenance at a nearby state park 

Up to 100 New Dukes will participate in DMAD, and we’ll spend some of our time together in a large group. On service days, we’ll split into small groups and head to different community partners (i.e., local non-profits) to volunteer. Each small group will be co-led by a CS-L student employee and a CS-L professional staff member. 


An extremely tentative schedule for DMAD 2022
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Morning Morning Morning Morning
  • Move into residence halls (9am-Noon)
  • Lunch on your own
  • Breakfast on your own
  • Depart for service
  • Community Partner Orientation
  • Service
  • Lunch on-site
  • Breakfast on your own
  • Depart for service
  • Service
  • Lunch on-site
  • Breakfast on your own
  • Social Justice walking tour
  • Pizza on the quad
Afternoon Afternoon Afternoon Afternoon
  • Community-building
  • Introduction to Harrisonburg
  • Preparation for service
  • Service
  • Break
  • Service
  • Break
  • Closing
Evening Evening Evening Evening
  • Communal Dinner on campus
  • Reflection
  • Dinner at local restaurant
  • Reflection
  • Dinner at local restaurant
  • Reflection

Each small group will have two leaders: a JMU student who works in the CS-L office and a member of CS-L’s professional staff. 

Community Service-Learning is committed to diversity and social justice and strives to be accessible to and inclusive of students of all abilities. If you have a documented disability (or think you may have a disability) and as a result may need reasonable accommodations to participate in DMAD, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible. To receive accommodations, you must be appropriately registered with ODS. The ODS works confidentially in partnership with students, faculty, and other University departments to ensure equal access through Universal Design and reasonable accommodations. The office is located in the Student Success Center, Suite 1202. You may contact them by phone at 540-568-6705 or through email at We also invite you to discuss potential accommodations with our office as soon as possible so that we can take your needs into account when planning service, meals, and transportation. 

We take the pandemic seriously in order to keep one another safe and to reduce the risk of exposing the vulnerable communities we work with. We will follow all university policies related to COVID-19. Additionally, some of our service sites may have more restrictive policies – like requiring up-to-date vaccines or masks – that we’ll abide by while we’re on-site. Because of this, we’ll ask for – and verify – your vaccination status. If you’re not vaccinated against COVID, you can still participate in DMAD, but some service sites won’t be options for you. Changes in COVID conditions will require changes in policy. For example, we may require everyone to take a rapid test before we start volunteering. We’ll be sure to communicate all updates. 

Yes! We can’t help you get to Harrisonburg, but once you’re here, we’ll get you everywhere you need to be. JMU has a fleet of 12-passenger vans that we’ll use to get between campus and our service sites. 

You will. Our days will start early, and service will likely tire us out, but we’ll still have time to get to know each other. DMAD programming will end in the early evening, so you’ll have some free time at the end of each day. 

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