We do not intend to criticize Service First now that it has come to an end, but rather to use it as a learning experience to relaunch and rethink a different kind of Service First. We propose that more meaningful, enjoyable projects could be selected to not only add greater value to the overall experience but to also enlighten students about Washington University’s vast array of community service organizations.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) in the St. Louis area and on campus at Wash. U. have worked to promote community development, sustainable agriculture and education abroad.
As a leading institution in research and academics, Washington University has become well-known for having brilliant professors and students both nationally and globally. While the University continues to spread its name, beautify the campus with renovations and constructions, and strengthen its programs, Wash. U.
Every year since 1999, on a weekend during the first few weeks of school, more than 1,000 Washington University freshmen put on grungy t-shirts, slather themselves with sunscreen and board school buses bound for elementary schools around the St. Louis area. For several hours, they paint, refinish and clean the schools, beautifying them for the return of students.
This winter break, riding in the back of a pickup truck along a bumpy mountain road in Honduras, a small team of Wash. U. students visited the home of a victim of yellow fever. An old woman had come into the village to get medication for her son, and we decided to send a group to her home to see the conditions for ourselves.
It takes a village to raise a child. Few students at Washington University are children, but we depend on resources like the Writing Center and Student Financial Services. Unfortunately, children of the poorer St. Louis school districts lack access to an adequate education.
This week, students will celebrate the man behind Washington University’s name with a series of service-related events sponsored by Lock & Chain sophomore honorary. In memory of Washington, who would turn 279 on Tuesday, Lock & Chain will host events focused on engaging students in community service efforts.
When senior Paul Johannet received a grant from the Community Service Office in the fall of 2008 to help start an organization that would help kids in the local area with their academic studies, he never imagined it would grow into the program it has become today.
Books and Basketball, a non-profit organization that travels to several schools around the local St. Louis area to help tutor and play recreational games with students, has become extremely popular within the Washington University community.
So the idea to design and build four doghouses to auction off to the public in order to raise money for Fred’s treatment was born. Working with the Wash. U. students was one aspect of community collaboration that resulted from this project. This project helped form a connection between the University and the nearby Kinloch Learning Center.
A new Student Union initiative, Engage 360, aims to increase engagement between the St. Louis area and Washington University by developing long-term relationships with community leaders. The initiative hopes to partner community members, service organizations, students, faculty, staff and alumni.