GVSU president challenges students to serve community

Alyssa Trybus of the Student Senate works in the office. The senate is pushing 50 years 50 hours.

Eric Coulter

Alyssa Trybus of the Student Senate works in the office. The senate is pushing 50 years 50 hours.

Emanuel Johnson

In celebration of Grand Valley State University’s 50th anniversary festivities, GVSU President Thomas J. Hass has enacted the “President’s 50 Hour Service Challenge,” which challenges GVSU students, faculty and staff members to commit 50 hours of their time to community service activities during the school year.

Bunmi Fadase, the coordinator of academic service learning initiatives for the Community Service Learning Center, introduced the challenge to the Student Senate at its weekly meeting last Thursday.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory – in conjunction with the 50th anniversary, we’re celebrating the birthday,” she told the senate. “It would be great to celebrate 50 years of shaping lives by serving 50 hours of serving the community.”

The challenge officially began on Aug. 30 and will run through April 1 of next year. Students will be able to track their hours by going to a link at the CSLC website and logging in to the sign in page using their network login username and password.

Anyone who participates and completes all 50 hours will be invited to a celebratory recognition ceremony at the end of the year, Fadase said.

According to a document posted on the CSLC website, any service to the broader community where activities directly address a community-based issue or problem or contribute to the public good count as service hours and can be used in the 50 hour challenge. Service hours must be completed in or around the Allendale and Grand Rapids communities.

Student Senate President Jarrett Martus said the challenge shouldn’t have a problem gaining support since most students already participate in several community service opportunities anyway.

“The participation should be good,” he said. “Students do this every year, and now this is just a way for them to actually record the hours that they do and be recognized. We have a huge amount of hours that Grand Valley students volunteer each year, and with this including events that go on yearly anyway, I think it should be well received.”

Some events that can count toward the 50 hour challenge are Battle of the Valleys, Make a Difference Day and Relay for Life, among many others. Students are also allowed to log any hours they complete through local churches, major activities or organization activities.

While logging these hours are allowed, Fabase recommends students looking for individual community service opportunities should come to the CSLC and speak to one of four trained service consultants.

“We don’t require students to be knowledgeable about all of the opportunities in Grand Rapids,” she said. “We make a point to provide that service for students.”

The CSLC is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. The service consultants are seniors Marada Chau and Melissa Delgado and sophomores Jordan Veens and Katie Tippett.

To log hours, go to www.gvsu.edu/service/president-s-50-hour-service-challenge-78.htm and click the GVSU Students link to log in.

For more information about community service opportunities and campus-wide community service days, go to the CSLC website at www.gvsu.edu/service.

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