SVC created to involve student volunteers

By Matt Gronlund

NIU students who want to volunteer their time or to give something back to their community have a great opportunity with the Student Volunteer Corps.

The SVC, a state-initiated program, was created last year to provide students with an ongoing opportunity for students to volunteer their services.

“Providing students with a list of volunteer agencies is our primary function,” said Z. Ahmad, program coordinator for University Programming and Activities.

The SVC was created after legislation passed Bill 2571 in 1989. The bill states, “Students should be encouraged to volunteer 30 hours of service each academic year.”

The SVC not only encourages students to volunteer 30 hours a year, but also will hold a reception in April for all students who accomplish the goal, Ahmad said.

The SVC is not just for individuals. Organizations in need of philanthropy or volunteer ideas are also welcome.

One group working with the SVC is Circle K.

“We’ve worked on environmental cleanups and even worked at the Kiwanis haunted house,” said Tammy Larson, president of Circle K.

“With the condition of today’s job market, many students are using volunteerism to set themselves apart from other job applicants,” Ahmad said. “It should not, however, be the prime motive for volunteering.”

“Students can find different opportunities to suit their needs,” said Tricia Hoffman, Student Volunteer Corps graduate assistant. “They can then use this experience for their resumes.”

The SVC is helping students find volunteer agencies assisting the Hurricane Andrew relief effort.

Any student wanting to help with the hurricane effort or volunteer for another project should contact the Programming and Activities Office on the 6th floor of the Holmes Student Center.