University recognizes students’ service work
Students of Wingate University rallied Oct. 6 to celebrate the first annual National Student Day. A group of several dozen students gathered in front of the Stegall Building that evening to show support for the event and the service it represents.
National Student Day was founded and is sponsored by the National Association of College Book Stores. The event was initiated to recognize and promote social responsibility of college students throughout the country.
“They were really passionate about this, and I think it’s a great way to recognize students and their service (to the community),” Lauren Schroeder, Director of Community Service Initiatives for Wingate University, said.
For the students of Wingate, social responsibility is an important part of their college career. Each year, Wingate students volunteer a combined total of approximately 16,000 community service hours.
The types of volunteer work performed cover a wide range of areas. Christopher McKethan, junior at Wingate, has a passion for serving the homeless.
“I like working with people, and homeless people are really personal,” McKethan said. “A lot of people think (the homeless) are really stand off-ish, but typically they’re people who just want to talk.’
For sophomore Alex Yarborough, the passion lies in working with elementary students. “I just finished my volunteer application to read to students at Wingate Elementary,” Yarborough, a pre-pharmacy major, said. “They have a tutoring and mentoring program there, so it will be exciting to start that.”
McKethan, a human services major, is a coordinator for UCAN (University and College Accountability Network). Through the organization, McKethan and other members strive to recruit college students to get involved in volunteer work of any kind.
“Most students are involved in some type of service, but I’d like to impact the freshmen more. If, in your freshman year, you get into volunteering and you like it, you’re going to continue to do that,” McKethan said.
Schroeder hopes that National Student Day will continue to grow in the upcoming years. “With this being the first year, not a lot of people know about it, but hopefully, next year, more students will know about it and be involved,” she said.