For the second consecutive year, UCSB student volunteers have earned the university a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
This year, UCSB was one of 635 universities nationwide to receive a place on the Honor Roll, a program founded by the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2006. Jointly sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the U.S. Dept. of Education and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the program recognizes colleges that champion philanthropic efforts.
The university received the prestigious award on account of over 6,000 UCSB volunteers who dedicated their time to civic service efforts in 2008.
In a press release, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young said many UCSB students are known for their commitment to campus organizations, groups and projects that work for the continued betterment of the community.
“For thousands of UCSB students, ‘scholarship, leadership and citizenship’ is not just a slogan, it is a way of life,” Young said. “They see volunteerism as central to fulfilling their responsibilities as good citizens.”
While the award recognizes recent community service efforts, it is also symbolic of the generations of volunteers UCSB has provided to the community, Young said.
“This campus has a long time history, literally decades, of service that UCSB students have engaged in,” Young said. “Our students have seen volunteerism as a major manifestation of their citizenship and their sense of responsibility to the broader community.”
Community Affairs Board, a student-run organization at UCSB which provides students with volunteer opportunities both on and off campus, is one channel students use to give back to the community at large.
According to CAB Vice Chair Erin Schuyler, a fourth-year biology major, CAB aims to provide aid to less fortunate citizens in the surrounding area.
“Even though Santa Barbara is a really nice location, there are people that are lacking certain needs,” Schuyler said. “We like to help them as much as we can.”
Associated Students Finance Board member Kelsey Fisher, a second-year global studies major, said CAB is the perfect outlet for students to discover a potential community service opportunity.
“Anyone can go into the office, and they help students find something they are interested in, whether it is working in an animal shelter, restoration along the beach, helping the homeless or volunteering at the elementary school,” Fisher said.
Fisher also noted that members can keep up-to-date on current and ongoing volunteer opportunities through weekly CAB newsletters.
“They send out care mail to a huge group of people that details what is going on that week, like special projects and weekly continuing projects,” Fisher said.
According to Schuyler, she expects the President’s award to spur other members of the campus community into action.
“We have so much to give, we hope to keep expanding in the future in the services that we provide,” Schuyler said. “This award is more inspiration to keep us going.”
With this award, Young said, UCSB students received much deserved acknowledgment for their continued commitment to good causes.
“I’m just very pleased that our students could be honored in this way for their long term service,” Young said.