OPINION: WSU students should volunteer more

Volunteering benefits community, gives students purpose



Volunteering benefits others, and yourself. It’s important to get out in your community and give back.

MEGHAN HENRY, Evergreen managing editor

In college, students are constantly being told to beef up their resumes. Greek houses encourage their members to get into the community to volunteer, even offering ways to access more information on philanthropic opportunities.

WSU has a program for connecting students with chances to volunteer: the Center for Civic Engagement. This acts as a one-stop-shop for students looking for ways to be more involved in the Pullman community. We should all be taking advantage of it.

However, I think we need an attitude change about volunteering in general.

“Once you volunteer in the community once, you see and understand how important it is,” said WSU alumna Nora Villareal. “I think it takes one time for you to put yourself out there and go volunteer for you to realize the effects it has.”

This attitude change is significant and necessary for us to continue to want to give back. We have to remember that, though we are only here for four or so years, we can make a significant impact on the Pullman community with our spare time.

The effects Villareal saw in her community encouraged her to volunteer throughout college, and eventually led to her working for a company that urges its employees to take time off to volunteer in their communities.

“In the company I work for you can take seven days off for volunteer opportunities,” Villareal said. “It’s actually so cool.”

It is not only a chance to connect with the community, but with coworkers and peers as well. But this attitude of positivity towards giving your time to the community you’re a part of is a commitment in itself.

It is a time commitment, and many people who prioritize volunteering have to make an effort to keep it at the forefront of their calendars.

“[Volunteering] is important to me, but I definitely don’t have as much time as I would like,” said Madalyn Ford, senior economics major.

Ford’s work with her Greek chapter as Community Service Chair was what first introduced her to the Girl Scouts in the Palouse area. Since then, that has been her main focus of volunteering her time and effort when she can.

“After my position ended, I became a Girl Scout troop leader, which is so funny because I always wanted to be a Girl Scout,” Ford said.

The effort Ford put into volunteering led to a passion for leading young people that she might not have found without that first experience with her Greek chapter.

If you want volunteering to be a part of your life, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities provided by your organizations and our school. Not just for your resume, but for the chance to become a bigger part of your community.