Volunteering common among students

Some academic majors at Florida A&M require students to have community service hours in order to receive their degrees, but some students procrastinate to fulfill that duty.

In the Office of Student Union and Activities at FAMU, there are many organizations that volunteer services for different programs on and off campus. Every organization has something unique that it stands for, but they all share a common characteristic; which involves volunteering their services. When students decide to volunteer, they are ordered to fill out a form that includes information about them and the semester or year they would like to complete their volunteer hours.     

Athena Griffith, 20, a third-year business administration student from Jacksonville, is vice president of Program Action Activities Council, PAAC.

“The mission of PAAC is to enhance social development between students and their peers, faculty, staff, visiting companies and university sponsors,” Griffith said. “It allows students to network while serving their university and become familiar with their campus activities and its procedure, to continue the development of FAMU, OSA and PAAC.”

Some organizations stress the importance of volunteering and the benefits students can receive when they are active. These organizations inform students about why they should be involved on or off campus.

Jocelyn Oliver, 20, a third-year business administration student from Gainesville, is president of PAAC. She informed students that joining organizations is a way to network and meet new people.

“Through volunteering and serving our campus and community, we never know what it may lead to,” Oliver said.

Saundra Inge, director of the OSUA, said students enjoy the social elements that come along with volunteering. Compared to last year, there were more volunteers.

“This year we have taken a more serious attitude,” Inge said. “The new person that is president is more structured and decides if students do not want to perform their duties or are unable, then you are not included for volunteering for that activity.”

Greek-letter organizations implement volunteering in the community as well. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity is an organization that provides services to individuals that are not fortunate and develop programs and initiatives that encourages students to be involved in the community.

Luis Sosa, 22, a fourth-year political science major from Miami, is a member of Phi Beta Sigma. He describes how his organization helps the less fortunate.

“Our annual Sleep out for the Homeless includes a food and clothing drive culminated by an overnight sleep out,” Sosa said. “Students are encouraged to come to the Sigma plot where they drop off their donations as well as experience the difficult experience of having no shelter by spending the night outside.”

Some students are eager and enjoy giving back to the community whether they receive volunteer credit hours or not.

Diana Pierre, 20, a third-year business administration student from West Palm Beach, encounters problems volunteering in addition to being a full-time student.

“I feel like college students have a lot of stuff to do and people are busy,” Pierre said. “It’s kind of hard to embrace a new idea sometimes because they have never seen it in their community.”