By: Justin Shuler `20, Staff Writer
LVC’s service to the community continues to grow, but needs are not going to change, so I encourage students to volunteer more of their time and make an impact on others.
Service is a valuable part of a college experience and a growing number of student groups on campus have been getting more involved in the community. Students can create their own ideas for service opportunities and become more invested in projects that fit their interests. If students match their interests with their work, then they will be more engaged in their experience and they will become more aware of where they live and where changes are needed.
“Service is absolutely valuable,” Jennifer Liedtka, service and volunteerism coordinator, said. “It is going to be different for every student, because it depends on what you are passionate about, your interests, and what this season of your life allows for you. There is value for every student to be engaged in some amount of service.
LVC connects students to service by offering a service class, which helps students understand why they are performing certain tasks and raises more awareness for service. LVC has a lot of service-minded students, but many students do not understand the purpose of their work in the community. I think students need to ask more questions and learn the mission of the organization that they are helping at. I encourage more students to become service leaders and take initiatives to help others connect their work to the community.
“You get a whole different view of who you are in the community,” Liedtka said. “We live in a world that causes us to be me-centric on a lot of days and you can get caught up in your own garbage so easily. But when we stop for a minute and realize that the world is a far bigger place with people with different ways of living and different circumstances than ours, it gives us a perspective that allows us to walk in a healthier way.”
LVC can connect with students at different points in their lives and service can become a part of their lives. Seniors can use service as a transition in their lives after they graduate and freshmen can use service to build relationships with other students and people in the community.
“We are all people and it is that simple,” Liedtka said. “We might be walking in a different place, but at the end of the day, everyone deserves respect, dignity, and compassion from another person. We all have something to learn from each other.”
Students can use their stories and experiences to tell their own story and continue to raise awareness after they leave LVC. Students should give back and make a true difference by finding sustainable solutions to the problems in their community. There will always be a chance to improve certain circumstances and students have the opportunity to impact those in need, while those in need can be just as impactful on the students.