Volunteerism may become graduation requirement

Incoming freshmen in 2002-2003 school year may have to complete 30 hours of community service per semester in order to graduate.Student Government Association President Andre Hammel proposed the idea at the board of trustees’ first meeting Sept. 6Hammel said student involvement as his top priority prompted him to make the proposal. “I got the idea because I had to do volunteer hours at my high school,” Hammel said.Hammel originally suggested students perform 40 hours per semester but later said that 30 hours would be sufficient. The proposal calls for 15 hours of community service to be performed on campus and 15 hours in the Tallahassee community. Hammel said he plans to push the proposal for a full body vote during the board’s retreat in Orlando in November.Trustee Regina Benjamin, who also is the chairwoman of the Academic Affairs committee, said she also favors students performing community service hours to graduate. Hammel reiterated that current students would not be affected if the proposal is passed. Coleman, president of student activities, said that each student will be required to turn in volunteer slips every semester to prove their work. If students did not have the minimum hours in one semester they would be able to make them up throughout the summer and during breaks. Students, however, have mixed opinions about this proposal. “I honestly would not have time to complete 30 hours of volunteer work every semester,” said Gui Bryan,t a junior business administration student from Detroit. Hammel said the chance for students to serve the community is one of his ultimate goals.”I understand that many students are involved in the community but some are not and this will give them that extra motivation.”