Increased Community Service

Community service among student organizations has increased drastically to 48 percent, a 30 percent increase from last year, and is expected to continue to rise this year.

The goal for the year 2002 is to raise the participation rate to 62 percent Mary Pelkowski, director of Student Activities and Performing Arts, said

Although there is no clear reason for the increase, Pelkowski and Liz Salogub, President of the St. Vincent Paul Society, agree that the increase may be due in part to the effects of the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001.

Sinc then, many students at St. John’s felt the need to help others and as a result, community service programs had an increased amount of participation, Salogub said.

Pelkowski believes that the increase is also related to St. John’s Vincentian tradition and that it is easy to become involved in community service because of the prominent place it holds within the University.

“We try to get more people involved in community service each year,” Pelkowski said.

Salogub believes that once students realize how much fun service is, and how rewarding helping others is, students will continue to attend service events.

“I have witnessed the greatest interest for community service in those students helping children,” she said. As a result she added there has been in an increase in students visting St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital.

Every student organization on campus is encouraged to partake in at least four service events per year. In addition, there are several student organizations whose full concentration is on service to the St. John’s community.

CAUSE, Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent DePaul Society and Students for Global Justice continually provide many services to those in need. Students in these organizations run clothing drives and sandwich drives. They build homes, tutor children, visit soup kitchens, and make students aware of global issues.

With their hard work and dedication, as well as the additional help of other student organizations on campus, these events are able to be a complete success Pelkowski said.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, St. John’s University is holding its first University Service Day, and Oct. 20 St. John’s Walk For Breast Cancer.