SL Student Leaders log most hours in community service drive

The end of all education should surely be service to others.

-- Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez was an ordinary man with an extraordinary legacy of accomplishment and service to humanity. He believed that people have an obligation to contribute to their community and help others.

To ensure that the life, work and values of Chavez continue to inspire all Californians, former Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation to establish March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, a state holiday.

Students construct a planter bed for the El Sausal Peace GardenAt California State University, Monterey Bay, March 31 marked the start of a 36-day community service drive – from Cesar Chavez Day to Cinco de Mayo – coordinated by the university’s Service Learning Institute, the Student Activities office and AmeriCorps.

Twenty-one groups – including the Associated Students, fraternities, sororities, student organizations and clubs – entered a friendly competition to see how many hours of community service they could document. The goal was 3,000 hours.

It was the first year CSUMB students undertook such an ambitious project. While they fell a bit short – they tallied 2,929 hours, or 94 percent of the goal – the effort was deemed a success.

“For a first attempt, we’re pleased with the total,” said Steven Goings, AmeriCorps VIP Leader and service opportunities coordinator for the Service Learning Institute. “We should be proud of ourselves,” Goings added.

The Service Learning Student Leaders performed the most hours, recording a total of 659. On Cesar Chavez Day alone, the group tallied 64 hours; they added 595 on College Access Weekend, April 1-3. Omega Delta Phi was second with 435.5 hours and the team representing Return of the Natives was third with 380 hours.

In addition to the 21 registered groups, unaffiliated volunteers contributed 279 hours.

Goings was quick to give credit to Student Activities Director Tim Bills, who led eight fraternities and sororities to a total of 906 hours, or 35 percent of the total. Goings also credited Kelly Mailly, coordinator of leadership development in Student Activities, for working with five members of the Inter-Club Council. Among them, the clubs logged 161 hours of service.

On May 12, certificates of recognition will be awarded to the participating teams. The AmeriCorps team at CSUMB will also be recognized, as an acknowledgment of National AmeriCorps Week. The campus community is invited to join the celebration from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Student Center.

“The people who participated in the Cesar Chavez Challenge have truly helped us to create and enhance a culture of service on our campus,” Goings said.

Final tally:
1 – Service Learning Student Leaders = 659 Hours
2 – Omega Delta Phi = 435.5 Hours
3 – Return of the Natives = 380
4 – Student Housing and Residential Life = 303
5 – Lambda Theta Nu = 164
6 – Theta Alpha Sigma = 128
7 – Student Peace Alliance = 88
8 – Students for Quality Education = 88
9 – Kappa Delta Chi = 69.5
10 – Green Team = 69
11 – Kappa Sigma = 55
12 – Beta Beta Beta = 46.5
13 – Science Club = 33
14 – Black Students United = 30
15 – Friends of Ivy League = 18
16 – Pre-Medical Society = 18
17 – Associated Students = 17.5
18 – Campus Dining Services = 15
19 – MEChA = 13.5
20 – Law Club = 12
21 – Sigma Omega Nu = 8
22 – Unaffiliated = 279

Total = 2,929.5