Volunteering: Learning about the community


RACHEL SUN | The Daily Evergreen

Kassi L. Rolin has worked with WSU Center for Civic Engagement for six years.

RACHEL SUN, Evergreen reporter

Name: Kassi L. Rolin

Position: WSU graduate, student engagement coordinator at the Center for Civic Engagement

Could you give me an overview of what CCE does?
“We are an on-campus resource for students, and we also work extensively with the local community and communities at a distance to get students involved and engaged off of campus and in their communities, whether that’s in Pullman or from afar. We work with the global campus and a lot of the other campuses.”

What are some projects you’ve helped facilitate that really stick out in your memory?
“We do have weekly service projects that go out. So on any given week, we have 20-30 projects that students can sign up for where we provide transportation to students. Another thing that comes to mind is the Greek door-to-door food drive that happens in the spring, and it usually aligns with Civic Engagement Week. We partner with organizations for the large-scale projects, so every winter on the first Saturday of December is Palouse Cares. So we partner with [them], which is based in Moscow, and help with their door-to-door food drive.”

What is a project you’ve worked on that is meaningful to you on a personal level?
“Going to Avalon Care Center, which is one of our local senior care facilities, to play bingo. The reason it sticks out to me is realizing there are residents that have lived in Pullman for a really long time and need companionship and interactions with students, whether it’s playing games or just having a conversation. I walked away knowing I provided companionship that day, and I put a smile on someone’s face.”

What challenges have you faced in your years working here?
“There’s always an unmet need in the community. We do a really good job of matching students with community partners that have an unmet need, but living in a college town it’s not perfect, and there’s always going to be a community partner that needs a little bit more. We definitely do our best to assist and match students with them.”

What is one of the biggest things students get out of CCE?
“As a WSU graduate, I can say that it’s really easy to stay within your own bubble and your own thing, hanging out with friends. There’s a lot more to the college experience than just going to class and hanging out with friends and whatever you do for fun. I think CCE can really help students, and that there’s a lot to learn about the community. There’s so much that you can learn outside of the classroom, whether it’s how to interact with other people, or being able to apply a skill you’re learning about in the classroom right then and there. We just really want students to be engaged in the community and understand the college experience outside of the classroom and outside of the campus. If students wanted to get engaged over the break in their home communities, it’s a really great thing to do and we have resources available in our office and we’re happy to help them get engaged over break.”