Public service a theme of February

In its seventh year, Public Service Month has become more known on-campus due to better advertising and a greater interest in community service.

Established in 2003, Public Service Month is a four-week series of events and programs that are meant to evoke student interest in careers concerning public service, nonprofit organizations and more, according to Amie Donahue, chair of the Public Service Month Committee.

Among the events featured are the “Do It Just” event, which involves groups that focus on service after graduation such as the Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Mercy Volunteer Corps, as well as a government and non-profit career fair that will take place on Feb. 24 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Main Lounge. The career fair features faith-based, government and non-profit agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, and the New Jersey State Police.

The Division of Volunteer Efforts is collecting non-perishable items for a local food bank all month, and several donation sites are available on-campus.

Donahue, who is serving her second year as chair, believes Public Service Month has been successful in communicating the importance of community service.

“Benefits for the students include and enhanced understanding of the University’s mission of servant leadership, increased knowledge of careers in service and an opportunity to meet others who have committed their lives to serving the public and their local communities,” she said.

According to Donahue, 97 percent of the attendees that answered an evaluation after the last year’s events said they “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that community service is important in their life’s calling.

Also, this year’s Public Service Month essay contest, sponsored by The Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership, had 47 entries, the highest amount to date.

David Pagliaro, a senior in Alpha Phi Omega and a member of the Public Service Month Student Committee, said community service is a way to help others and also contribute something positive to the world.

“It was not until I got to college that I realized that there were people who were dealing with problems far greater than my own and who really needed help,” Pagliaro said. “When I look back on my life, I want to know that I did everything I could to make it a better place than it was when I first got here.”

Pagliaro said he plans to volunteer in several projects while encouraging peers to get involved personally and through social media. There are dedicated bulletin boards for advertising in residence halls, as well as a Facebook fan page.

Freshman Christina Lombardo said Facebook was a “great” way to get the message of Public Service Month to students.

“It is difficult to notice one piece of paper on the crowded bulletin boards, or read every BlackBoard announcement. Students could miss out that way,” Lombardo said.

Donahue encouraged any students who want to get involved to volunteer through DOVE and post updates of their service experiences to the Facebook page.

If students are interested in joining the Public Service Month Student Committee, contact Amie Donahue at amie.donahue@shu.edu.

Check back for an update on this Setonian online exclusive at the conclusion of public service month!

Charlotte Lewis can be reached at charlotte.lewis@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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