The First Year Pledge

We encourage you to also consider instituting the First Year Pledge of Social Justice, Economic Strength, and Environmental Responsibility:

“I pledge that during my years in higher education I will explore and take into account the social, economic, and environmental consequences of my behavior and that of my institution. I will learn about issues of environmentalism, social justice, and economic strength, and will try to promote a sustainable and just society both at my institution and in the wider world.”

The goal of the First Year Pledge is to promote social justice, environmental health, and economic growth in first year college students in hopes of teaching and inspiring them to do more, to learn more, and to take initiative for themselves.

Students who commit to the pledge will come into their college environment with an open mind and will learn to respect and establish relationships with people who are different than they. This will promote a genuine community on campus, which is something every college student should want to be a part of. Also, students who take the pledge will be encouraged to consider the impact of their economic choices in their life and the world around them. The pledge will promote ethical and sustainable economic advancement. Finally, the pledge will encourage students to evaluate their impact on the environment. It will instill in them a desire to make sustainable choices in every aspect of their life.

Through the commitment to the First Year Pledge, the students will encourage others on campus to explore and adopt the ideas that are fundamental to this pledge.

This complementary effort is a project of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)—College Student Educators International. For further information regarding the First Year Pledge, please contact Dr. Boyd Yarbrough at