Res Life pushes student service projects to be more community based

Students volunteering at Bartel's
Molly Felman (left) and Kelly Smith (right) volunteer six to eight hours a month at Bartel's Retirement Community in Waverly to live in the Residence at Wartburg. — Emily Novotny/TRUMPET

Jordan Finch takes a deep breath before she answers the crisis line while volunteering at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family as a Certified Victim’s Counselor.

“The first few times I took a crisis call I was flustered, but when someone truly needs your help your instincts kick in and it’s easier to problem solve for the victim,” Finch said.

Finch said she needs that breath to soothe her nerves while she volunteers at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family as a requirement for living in the Residence Hall.

She is one of many students who participate in a variety of projects ranging from going to the hospital to bake sweets for the elderly, making informational posters and blogging about different topics or volunteering at a women’s shelter.

“It makes you very thankful for what you have,” Finch said. “It humbles you.”

Volunteering and service projects like these have been a requirement for many years, but this year’s Residential Life office decided to add to the requirements and give students more options with their service related projects.

Residential Life Service Coordinator Alyssa Dahmer said the main reason for these additions to the program was based on feedback given by the students.

“[The] main difference in this year is we are really amping up recognition,” Dahmer said. “We’re providing more activities as well as visual publicity of the Löhe and Res projects.”

Students have an opportunity to showcase their projects which gives the students the recognition they deserve. It’s also an opportunity for them to reflect how it impacts the community on campus, Dahmer said.

Another choice available to students, specifically living in Löhe Hall, is the option to transition from posters to blogs.

“This year we’re trying out going digital with the projects,” Dahmer said. “It’s a great way for students to spread the awareness of their projects beyond the campus community.”

Adding different communication requirements and an increase in adviser responsibility have also been additions to the program.

Dahmer said making those living in suites feel they can better utilize these resources on campus by using their advisers as support was something they have strengthened this year.

“They seem to really grab hold of the projects they are doing and type of research they’re doing, Dahmer said. “They seem to develop a stronger passion for those topics.”

Finch and her roommates, who also volunteer at CVFF,  are working to promote a fundraising event as a part of their service project.

“We want to help make it a forefront issue of today’s society instead of in the background,” Finch said.

The Fainting Goat will host a fundraising event called “Rock Away Hunger” on Thursday, Oct. 15, and 10 percent of the proceeds will go to CVFF.




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