Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Service hours for campus groups show seven percent increase

Whether they are tutoring children, raising money to find owners for orphaned dogs, or donating blood, Augustana students can be found both on and off campus serving the community.
There was an almost a 7 percent increase last year in logged volunteer hours compared to the 2011-2012 academic year. The amount of hours rose from 19,113 to 20,422.
Not every hour spent volunteering is logged, though. Laura Mahn, vocational counselor and volunteer coordinator, estimates that only about two-thirds of volunteering is logged, which means that around a third of volunteering hours are unaccounted for.
However, this year’s volunteering has started off on good footing with service sororities and fraternities such as Epsilon Sigma Alpha having more participants than these gropus have ever had before.
“They have a great problem of having so many participants that it’s hard to get in one place,” said Mahn.
The Lambda Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Omega works with all kinds of service projects such as the Childcare for Autism Network, and the service organization Circle K often works with the Quad Cities Animal Welfare Center.
Social sororities and fraternities also largely contribute to volunteering organizations. They completed about 18,000 hours out of the 20,244 campus wide volunteer hours. The year before, they logged in 15,000, and this year’s goal is 20,000.
“It’s communicated by most of our chapters that each term every student has to complete three hours per term, so nine hours total, and each chapter will sometimes have a higher amount,” said Katey Bignall, assistant director of student activities.
Sororities and fraternities participate in Relay For Life and Dance Marathon.
Volunteering on and off campus at places like the Quad Cities Botanical Center and the Boys & Girls Club offer chances for students to find internships or jobs.
“Places like World Relief, United Way, the Child Abuse Council, the Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters—just to name a few—provide volunteer help for students and also have interns,” said Johnna Adam, director of the internships and careers office. Students who volunteer with certain organizations can intern at the organization.
“Students are building sometimes very related skills to the professions they want to go into but also transferable skills that employers are looking for—things like leadership and communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving. They’re building their arsenal of tools to be a good employee moving forward,” said Adam.
Volunteering gives people the chance to view different perspectives and environments.
“One of the biggest benefits is that people get exposed to people and issues that they aren’t exposed to otherwise, and when they are exposed to different people and different issues it helps them get to know themselves and what they’re interested in,” said Mahn.

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Service hours for campus groups show seven percent increase