SSU students give back

Wayne Allen

July 30, 2012

Wayne Allen

Common Staff Writer

Last year 1,834 SSU students volunteered a collective 13,000 hours.

“Community service is an integral part of our programming for students,” said Dr. Rita Rice Morris, President of SSU in a released statement about the importance of volunteering.

Morris said, the largest student service projects last year included Shawnee Gives Back, where more than 500 students started the fall semester by serving in more than 35 local agencies and organizations. Other service projects included, The Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service and the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.

“Community service has a direct correlation to SSU’s mission and strategic plan, specifically to the theme of community,” said Nikki Karabinis, Coordinator, Center for Community Service at SSU. “The theme of community, one of three themes in SSU’s mission and strategic plan, aims to, ‘increase opportunities for students, the campus community, and area residents by pursuing joint initiatives with the larger community.”

In addition to volunteering, SSU students collected more than $22,000 in donations to help a number of causes during the year.

SSU has been named to the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education.

“Shawnee State has been recognized for this commitment to service and for placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by being named to the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for three executive years,” Morris said.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2011, volunteers in America served nearly 8.1 billion hours, which is equal to every person volunteering 33.9 hours. That translates to $173 billion in services provided for free.

The SSU Rotaract Club, a new student civic group associated with Rotary International, just received the 2011-2012 Changemaker Award, a national award that recognizes Rotaract clubs that make an extraordinary impact in the communities they serve.

“As you can see, our students made a tremendous impact last year – and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so this upcoming academic year,” Morris said.