Topics: Community Engagement, COVID-19

October 9, 2020

Over the last two months, more than 200 non-profit organizations and businesses partnered with Ball State University to maintain healthy and safe environments for all employees, customers, volunteers, and guests.

The Cardinals Care Partner program is part of the University’s Cardinals Care campaign to promote Ball State’s enduring value of social responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cardinals Care Partner pledge states, “We will take measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for our employees, customers, volunteers, and guests, consistent with the State of Indiana’s Back on Track guidelines and industry-specific best practices.

“I am grateful to the many organizations and businesses that provide our students, faculty, and staff with volunteering and learning opportunities as well as dining, retail, entertainment, leisure activities, and other services,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “We want to recognize and celebrate our partners who share our commitment to protecting the wellbeing of our community.

“We also know that, for environments to stay healthy and safe, people must do their part to follow appropriate protocols. This pledge articulates what our partners should expect from Ball State students, faculty, and staff: We will wear our masks, wash our hands often, and maintain physical distance. We will also monitor our health and abide by the requirements of places we visit and patronize.”

The Cardinals Care Partner pledge is encouraged among organizations and businesses that provide voluntary entertainment, dining, retail, leisure, and other services to Ball State students, faculty, and/or staff.

It was required of organizations that plan to host Ball State students, faculty, and/or staff for on-site volunteering, learning activities like immersive learning and internships, or Ball State-affiliated events. Participating organizations and businesses were posted on the Cardinals Care Partner website and received a physical and digital decal to highlight their participation.

Vicki Veach, Executive Director of Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, was one of the first organizations to sign the pledge.

“Ball State University students are an essential asset for our community,” she said. “It is paramount Ball State students, faculty and staff feel safe and welcome as they experience Muncie. As an advocate organization for downtown Muncie, we felt the pledge was an exemplary example of a way for us to take a course of action to achieve that objective."

More about the Pledge

To take the pledge or view a list of all the partners, visit

Ball State Office of Community Engagement worked with the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce; United Way of Delaware, Henry, and Randolph Counties; Village Alliance; and Muncie Downtown Development Partnership to refine the pledge language.

“These organizations provided valuable feedback and helped us share the pledge with their constituents,” said Delaina Boyd, associate vice president for community engagement at Ball State.