While we have wonderful hands-on community service programs at the College such as 1C1C and Habitat builds, many of our students do the bulk of their community service through their fraternities/sororities. The projects tend to be far removed from the community served and the object tends to be raising money rather than serving the local community (i.e. Chi Omega scoops ice cream for the Make a Wish Foundation). This seems odd to me, as we live in one of the areas of highest need in the nation. The poor are indeed, among us, but many of our students do not see them or connect with them. They don't see how hard it is to get an education in Jackson Public Schools or the non-zero number of our cleaning staff who do not know how to read and write. I think that an all-campus, hands-on community service project to serve our community in which fraternities, sororities, sports teams and independent groups and even faculty and staff would participate (and maybe compete) would be consistent with the College's history and mission and would enhance our students' education in the area of values by helping them to connect with the poor who are indeed, among us. Some suggestions might be literacy tutoring for staff who want it, and/or the campus-wide "adoption" of an elementary school, to which groups could supply tutors and mentors. Or we might let the whole campus come up with the campus-wide service project idea as part of the project itself.
Contact person: Sarah Bares
For a PDF of the proposal, click here.
Comments and Discussion