by Max Carter
It is the beginning of another school year at Whitworth University and Community Building Day is just around the corner. As hundreds of first-year students disperse throughout Spokane for a variety of community service projects, the same question is raised every September. Students are required to attend Community Building Day; does that take away from the value of the services the students are providing? My answer to that question is no, for multiple reasons, it does not.First of all, in life and in the workforce, a person will constantly be assigned with tasks, whether they like it or not. And while I am sure that Whitworth encourages their students to enjoy Community Building Day, if nothing else, CBD teaches students the value of working through projects they might not enjoy. I would of course argue that CBD is valuable for more reasons than just one, particularly with regard to resumes.
Now, the common response to the resume claim is where the question at hand originates. Some argue that community service on a student’s resume is not as valuable when it is not their choice to participate. Judging by the high number of Whitworth graduates that find jobs soon after graduation, that claim seems hard to back. Second of all, this same argument could surely be made against numerous common resume items. Perhaps a student was required by their parents to play a certain sport growing up or even to study a certain subject in college, but to my knowledge, universities and employers are not concerned about that. They are concerned with the experience and skills that students have acquired from their experiences, and how those can apply to the job in question.
Students’ benefits aside, let’s talk about the organizations involved in CBD. Do you think that those organizations are worried about how much each student enjoys the project? If you answered yes, you’re kidding yourself. They are most likely ecstatic just to have 20 university students doing a job that they would have to do a week later. Whether the students enjoy it or not, the project is going to be finished, and the organization is going to benefit tangibly from students’ work. Honestly, I find the questioning of CBD’s value troubling, and I’ll tell you why.
In today’s age, especially in my generation, Millennials are constantly critiquing, learning, and working to improve. They are constantly questioning why they should or should not do things, and they exercise more independent, free thinking than many generations before them. The general population has become more aware of social issues and has been given a certain conviction in their own opinions, encouraged by evolving news platforms like social media. While this is absolutely a positive movement, too many times have I seen critical thinking turn to cynicism, tainting its beauty. I feel that the question of the value of Community Building Day is on the same token, with people over-criticizing and bringing negativity to an otherwise beautiful offering of service from Whitworth University and its students. So this Community Building Day, enjoy it if you can, but either way just get out there, get it done, and serve our Spokane community.
Contact Max at firstname.lastname@example.org