Monday, July 15

Community Service Day aims to increase student involvement

Seventh Community Service Day aims to increase student involvement and awareness of local issues

Because of the economic crisis, the seventh annual Community Service Day will focus on helping individuals whose struggles are heightened during this time, while encouraging lasting involvement within the community.

“There is a different atmosphere with the economy,” said Farhan Banani, Community Service commissioner of the Undergraduate Students Association Council. “We easily get sucked into our lives, and it’s easy to forget that there are people who struggle, and that right now they are struggling even more.”

On Community Service Day, students go out into different areas of Los Angeles and work with nonprofit organizations to support the Los Angeles community.

The Community Service Commission this year also decided to have the event not only cater to undergraduates, but to graduate students as well.

This year, the Graduate Student Association is invited to participate, and more graduate students have signed up to volunteer, Banani said.

He said this is the first year that nonprofit organizations will tackle a variety of issues, including improving children’s literacy, helping the environment and feeding the homeless.

There is also an effort to educate the student volunteers by giving students the responsibility of becoming a site leader.

A site leader’s job will involve explaining the daily struggles that each community in Los Angeles faces and how that organization tries to better the situation. They will also lead discussions about ways students can further help the organization after Community Service Day.

The Community Service Commission desires more campus involvement this year because they want people to realize the importance of coming together to fight for causes.

“I would love to eventually get faculty involved because it would be an amazing experience to have a faculty member mentor an undergraduate about the power of helping someone in need,” Banani said.

The Community Service Commission also wants students to walk away from this day with a memorable experience.

“We want people participating to learn and understand these issues and realize that they can make a difference,” Event Coordinator Jamie Yao said.

The Community Service Commission also wants students to realize that their day of service does not have to last just one day.

“When people actually go out into their community and see the impact that they can make, it really hits home that it’s important to help,” Yao said.

An activities fair will be held after students finish the day of serving.

During the fair, on-campus community service organizations will recruit new members.

“Community service is not just something that you do in high school or as a club thing, it’s a long-term thing,” said Christina Chen, assistant commissioner of this event.

Students who are interested in registering can refer to the Web site at

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