Students passing through the Shepherd Union Building Tuesday had the chance to pause and spend some time helping others as part of the Community Involvement Center’s Welcome Week service project.
The CIC sponsored tables in the union building’s atrium where Weber State University students could help make hand puppets for Primary Children’s Hospital and fleece blankets for Project Linus, an organization devoted to providing blankets for children who are seriously ill or traumatized.
“It’s just the first week of school and we’re trying to show Primary Children’s that we support them,” said Blaine Gunn, volunteer involvement program assistant director, “and also trying to get the students here are Weber State involved with the community through free volunteer work.”
Through the CIC’s efforts, service projects on campus have become a part of every Welcome Week. During these projects, students are encouraged not only to help accomplish the CIC’s goals of serving those in need in the local community, but to learn about other opportunities to serve others during their time at WSU.
“Our goal as a university,” said Mike Moon, assistant director of the CIC, “and especially in the CIC, is to see to it that students graduate with not only a diploma, but also a resume.”
Students from all departments and majors are encouraged to visit the CIC to see how they can use their unique skills to contribute to the center’s mission. Moon also said that volunteering with the CIC provides the students with benefits as well as the community.
“There are opportunities for students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom in the community,” Moon said, “which helps the community and provides service to the community, but also helps students gain practical use of the knowledge they’re getting in the classroom.”
The CIC offers other benefits to students as well, such as scholarship opportunities and the chance to earn special honors upon graduation, including notations on transcripts confirming a student’s efforts to become engaged in serving the community.
Gunn said the CIC also strives to help maintain positive working relationships with WSU’s surrounding community.
“Weber State has always been known for reaching out to Weber County,” Gunn said, “and I feel like we need to continue trying to live up to our name by reaching out and doing these kinds of things and continually showing students, both freshmen coming in and seniors going out, that that’s what we do.”
Gunn also said that the opportunity to participate in higher education obligates students to give back to their community.
Jeff Robbins, a community liaison at the CIC, said the benefits of serving others extend beyond quantifiable aspects and helps students in more personal ways.
“It also develops them morally and spiritually,” Robbins said, “and those are parts that we don’t often talk about. But they’re often augmented when we spend time working in the community and serving others. There’s no real other way to build on the values and morals and things you get from serving other people. There’s really no way to get a complete education without that.”
The CIC sponsors several service opportunities on campus, including a blood drive that will be conducted next week. Students interested in learning more about service opportunities at the center can stop by the CIC’s office in the union building between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.