Community Service to Graduate

Schools are considering making complete a set amount of community service to graduate. Despite some positives to this I believe that there are downsides that outweigh them. Firstly, forcing volunteer work misses the point of volunteering. Second, it would add just another thing for students to do on top of all they already have to do. Finally, students may see it as just simply another thing to do and not as something that really benefits their community.

Forcing volunteer work misses the point of volunteering. Community service is supposed to be about giving back to the community that you and others live in. When doing it because they have to and not because they want to it misses what their volunteering really should mean and when generosity is forced then it isn’t really generosity. As the The Chicago Tribune says “”When volunteering becomes mandatory, students can lose the motivation that sparks pure voluntary service.””

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It would add just another thing for students to do on top of all they already have to do. Students are very pressed for time between the ~10 hours they need to sleep as well as the time dedicated to going to school as well as homework and any extra help they may need, that plus any time they need for themselves and socializing. Something necessary for all people is time to themselves to allow for leisure and work on personal development as well as mental and physical health. Most if not all students are struggling to find time in their days for everything and are suffering because of it. This new requirement could be a new factor weighing on their time and well being.

Students may see it as just simply another thing to do and not as something that really benefits their community. When made into a school requirement that’s what it becomes and, in the minds of the students that could be all it is, just simply another graduation requirement. The Chicago Tribune reports “”Part of the problem lies in integrating actual learning into service learning. Few of our programs seem to care about the relationship between service and the classroom. Until then, the relevance is null — it becomes another assignment, compulsory and at risk of being completed half-heartedly. The focus is on the hours spent serving, not the service itself.”” When that happens students loose what their service actually means to their community and the people in it and they focus on the hours they need to complete and not the job that needs to be done.

Students need to free to make their decision on if they volunteer however a compromise could be made as students and the community they serve. Students could be incentivised to volunteer their time in the community without it being a requirement. This could alleviate time constraint on students and make their work really their own.

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