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Involvement efforts are in progress

Feb. 22, 2001

By ERICA SANDS

Reporter

Although community service has become an important part of student life, Baylor is working to reach those students who are not involved.

'Students [volunteer] to be a part of the community and the area they live,' Jessica Truglio, coordinator of community service, said. 'They can learn a lot by interaction with their community.'

In last year's Student Attitudes-Involvement Survey, conducted May 29, 82 percent of students polled said they had been involved in some form community service during their high school years. This number dropped dramatically when students were asked about their community service involvement during the last year. In all but one of the choices, less than 50 percent of students polled said they had been involved in a particular project, club, or service opportunity during that time.

Coordinators in the Student Involvement Board and the Student Activities Board would like to see these numbers increase.

'Involvement helps students succeed physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually,' Matt Bonow, student involvement coordinator, said. 'It has been proven to increase the academic success of students.'

In addition to the traditional Steppin' Out project each semester, students can involve themselves in one of Baylor's many service organizations or community service programs. These include the Baylor Community Action Network, a group that invites students to participate in service projects without pledging or paying, and Baylor Buddies, a group of students who serve as big brothers and sisters to at-risk school children in the Waco area. Service organizations include Habitat for Humanity, Alpha Phi Omega, Baylor Women's League and others.

The Student Involvement Board recommends these steps for students who are interested in becoming more involved: Read the Baylor Updates calendar; frequent the application center at the Information and Student Involvement Center; look for banners, flyers and sidewalk chalkings on campus; and, most importantly, own a copy of the Student Organization Guide.

The Student Activities Board offers students resources for involvement.

'We keep a continuously updated volunteer board and a list of agencies throughout Waco that are in need of people,' Truglio said.

She offered students this final suggestion

'Call me,' she said. 'Once a student has decided what skills they have to offer, I would love to help them find an agency or cause that fits them and plug them in.'

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