Volunteerism law prompts task force

By Penny Rynberk

NIU faculty and students are responding to a new state student volunteer requirement with a task force to promote the student volunteer corps.

In 1990, state legislature agreed to require all state universities to form task forces and offer programs that will encourage undergraduates to participate in at least 30 volunteer hours each year.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Donald Buckner chairs NIU’s task force.

“The whole idea is to develop a lasting attitude to serve the community, especially from future college graduates,” Buckner said. “I see it building over the years.”

Student Association Community Affairs Adviser Steve Sliga, a task force member, said the group is hoping to increase the already large amount of student volunteers.

A categorized list of about 800 areas to volunteer is located on the board outside the Holmes Student Center’s University Programming and Activities office.

The task force discussed Friday how they plan to support the national “Into the Streets” volunteerism campaign which will be held the second week in February.

Sliga said the campaign encourages students to go “into the streets” and volunteer to organizations. “We hope to get a lot of students involved with this,” he said.

Sliga said he requested $150 from the SA to construct a monthly newsletter. “The newsletter is going to report on what the volunteering organizations on campus are doing,” he said.

Buckner said volunteers will receive buttons and certificates in recognition of their efforts.