The Department of Community Service and Awareness (CSA) was implemented at NDU as a subset of the Office of Student Affairs (SAO) the base of outreach for NDU students. It aims at providing students with opportunities to benefit their communities by working with non-profit organizations and by adopting, planning, and completing university-wide projects.
The NDU mission statement takes its spirit from the watchwords of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God: modesty, sacrifice, offering without limits, and working in silence. The CSA is then, from a university standpoint, an extension of this mission outside the university campus. It is also an affirmation of NDU's commitment to building generations that will act as vessels of social responsibility and to improving Lebanese society. The CSA, will provide a headquarters dedicated to community service for the students who want to be involved, and will expand in order to include as many students in the NDU spirit as possible. By implementing the CSA, NDU will contribute in optimizing the potential of the students by installing in them, ethics, faith and values.
CSA MOTTO: BELIEVING, CROSSING, ACHIEVING
At the heart of CSA activity lie several central beliefs. Each of us is inextricably linked to our environments, our country in the larger sense down to our families. A sense of responsibility comes with this link especially with the belief that each of us, students and staff, and with God's grace, has the potential of being a tool of positive change in our communities. The CSA also believes that each student has a unique talent, that there is room for everyone to contribute, each in his or her own way, and that all of these talents are equally valuable.
Bridges are a central concern in the CSA work ethic. Bridges can bypass the deepest abyss. The CSA will consolidate already existing bridges in the form of non-governmental organization (NGO) activity and will pioneer new bridges in the form of the university's student-based projects. In addition, bridges are a team effort: a bridge is only as strong as the connections between its components. Finally, bridges form a bond between previously isolated locations. This aspect symbolizes that the efforts of the CSA will broach new channels of communication between NDU students and their communities. This relationship will be mutually beneficial and permanently alter the make-up of both parties.
The nature of CSA activity is goal-oriented. It aims at providing real-life opportunities for students to actualize their potential in order to produce a qualitative change in the state of their communities. Perseverance in seeing a project through to the end will be emphasized. Difficulties will be anticipated during the course of student planning and overcome. Students will be able to follow up on the results of their projects to ensure that the improvement is maintained.
The patron saints of the CSA are Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Pope John Paul II, and Abouna Yaacoub. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who dedicated her life to caring for the poorest of the poor, stands as the firmest example that all it takes to change the world is love for our fellow human beings and the desire to serve in God's Grace. Pope John Paul II focused on the universal call to holiness, reminding us that we should all live holy lives and spread holiness to others, for we are under the same standard that is applied to saints. As a result, Pope John Paul II empowered the world youth and encouraged them to lean on the Virgin Mary, to whom he was especially devoted. Abouna Yaacoub is an example of wise thinking and achieving social projects. He founded numerous hospitals and outreach center. He reminds us also that Lebanon still maintains its ties to sainthood.
The CSA takes the white elephant as its mascot. The elephant is tough and useful and was even involved in the construction of the pyramids. It is also clever and compassionate and has the distinct ability of dive right into the dirt to accomplish its work and then wash itself off with its trunk. The color white symbolizes purity and happiness and also relates to John Paul II.