News

Volunteer Office Connects Campus to Community

March 12, 2010

The Office of Civic Involvement and Volunteerism (CIV) is entering its third year as an office under Student Affairs. Formerly known as Beyond Boundaries, CIV moved to its current location in Dewar 421B in the summer of 2009. Staff Coordinator Hilary Fannin ’10 discussed the name change:

“Beyond Boundaries was a carryover from our time as a club. It was more appropriate to have a more official name. The climate of change on campus with the new president and other organizations being renamed, it seemed like a good time to make the change and establish ourselves in a more professional manner.

“We are the only autonomous group on campus that is a prominent student-led organization that works in community involvement," she continued. "We have a duty as paid student workers to provide the campus with opportunities to volunteer in the community. There are so many people who want to help and they don’t know how. We also serve as a reporting organization for service hours.”

CIV staff members are available during office hours to help students pursue volunteer projects both on and off campus.

“I think it’s really great that students are helping students,” Fannin said. “Outside of our office there are individual volunteer applications that students can indicate areas of volunteer interest. These forms are also available on our webpage. We have distribution lists made out based on interests and students will be e-mailed when an activity related to their area of interest comes up. We also have a community partner binder housed in the office. Students can come in, write down the contact information, and contact them.”

Students must log 200 service hours during their time at Hartwick to receive recognition at graduation. CIV has partnered with the President’s Volunteer Service Award initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service to keep track of service hours in an online database. Students can log hours through our office by filling out a paper timesheet or self-reporting their hours online. Fannin noted that awards and recognition provided a “spotlight for people who willingly work without recognition for their efforts.”

“CIV provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to get involved with local Oneonta agencies and provides leadership experience for students,” said Allison Green, Director of Leadership Development and Greek Life.

“We are very fortunate to have Allison Green as our advisor,” Fannin said. “She’s helped us streamline over the years and make some very difficult decisions. We’ve been able to become focused and better able to serve the students and the community.”

Recurring volunteer initiatives through the CIV office include blood drives, soup kitchens, and Food2Share. Soar into Hartwick, Thanksgiving baskets, and Fill-A-Stocking are familiar fall projects. March of Dimes and Jamnesty Thailand are two upcoming spring projects.

"I think we give both faculty and students the opportunity to connect with the community,” Community Outreach Coordinator Elliot Henry ’12 added, “CIV helps me volunteer as well as provide opportunities for other students to volunteer.”

“I’ve made connections with people in the Hartwick administration. Working in an office while having a full course load teaches everyone time management,” Fannin said. “To get all of this real-life experience before you leave undergrad helps you become a leader.”

CIV will be accepting applications for next year’s staff from March 22 to April 7. Contact civ@hartwick.edu for more information.

By Alicia Walstad '10

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
E-mail: lottc@hartwick.edu
Phone: 607-431-4030