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Response to “Service Hours: Few Have Got it Pegged”

by Nora White, guest writer

Hey! My name is Nora and I’m a Senior Intern at the Service Program Office. I was quoted a lot in the article “Service Hours: Few Have Got it Pegged” in the last issue of The Echo, and I wanted to take a minute to clarify some things and give you some tools.

Here at the Service Program Office we’re really glad that conversations about the Community Engagement Commitment are happening and that concerns are being voiced; the article in the last issue of The Echo definitely identified some of the issues we’re aware students are facing, and we appreciate that coverage from The Echo!

But, as a long time Service Crew Member and voice that was quoted in the article extensively, I feel like there is some crucial information and resources that I want you to know about that was not included in the article. It has been our experience at the Service Program Office that while individuals are experiencing confusion about the Community Engagement Commitment and the PEGs (Points of Engagement and Growth), if time is taken to talk to individuals on the Service Program Crew or our staff confusion is quickly dissipated. Our office is currently in the process of increasing our training for all crew members and staff to insure that when you come in to ask us a question we know the answer or know how to get it for you. We encourage you to engage with us because we don’t have a way to automatically engage with you like your academic advisor or crew supervisor do. We are aware of the extra explanation and consideration that must go into the Community Engagement Commitment (CEC), and we have found that the experiences that come out of full engagement and thoughtful participation have a bigger impact on our students and community partners. We have found that students who take a minute to talk to us and do some research about how and when they want to engage are no longer confused about the PEGs or the CEC and know where to come for future questions.

So, here’s some resources and important information:

  • Our website, http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~service/, has:
    1. Explanations and examples of the PEGS and the CEC, as well as the former 100 Hour Commitment
    2. Information about our five core Issue Areas, including who to contact if you’re interested
    3. Information about Break Trips, Issue Workshops, Service Learning Courses, Group Service, and service on your own
    4. A calendar of when our trips are going out and what is available for you to participate in
    5. A Community Partner Directory (broken down by Issue Area)
    6. Service Verification Forms you need to submit your own hours
    7. Important updates and news
  • We table every week about upcoming events and as a space for people to ask questions
  • Our office is open Monday-Friday, 9-12 and 12:30-5
  • A student-l is sent out every week about upcoming service trips and how to get involved

Please, take a minute to think about how you want to incorporate service into your life here at Warren Wilson and ask us questions whenever you have them. Our crew and office exists to help you fulfill this portion of the Triad.

 

 

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