North Texas Daily

Community Engagement Council honors volunteerism

Community Engagement Council honors volunteerism

Community Engagement Council honors volunteerism
November 18
10:19 2013

Steven James / Intern Writer

UNT faculty, alumni, staff and students now have the opportunity to show their dedication to the community by taking part in the President’s Community Engagement Volunteer Honor Roll.

In its first year at UNT, students are able to log their community service hours by the deadline Nov. 30 in an online survey to receive recognition from the university.

The survey asks volunteers how many service hours they’ve contributed, and which organizations they’ve worked with. It can be found here.

Students who participate in the survey will earn a cord to wear at their commencement ceremonies, though the number of hours needed to receive a cord is currently undetermined.

Though the President’s Community Engagement Council is mainly looking for students to participate, the council is also optimistic that UNT alumni and retirees will take part in the survey and assist in volunteering for the community.

Dale Tampke, the creator of the survey, has contacted UNT retired staff and alumni to see if they would like to give back to their school, even though they longer work at or go to school at UNT.

“The point of creating this program was to foster engagement with the greater UNT community,” Tampke said. “We currently have 428 volunteers and counting. Some benefits of this are getting to contribute to the greater good and getting a nice, warm feeling.”

Tampke also said since this is the first annual President’s Community Engagement Volunteer Honor Roll, they are just testing the program.

“Hopefully we will continue to do this at least once a year, especially since city council heavily depends on volunteerism,” Tampke added.

Tampke is hoping to advance the software so that completing the survey will become more convenient for individuals who are interested in the honor roll.

Jean Keller, vice president for community engagement, said participating in the honor roll is an excellent way for students to do something outside of school, possibly by meeting individuals who are different from them.

“When participating in President’s Honor Roll, students learn how to make critical decisions,” Keller said. “This is a wonderful learning experience for students so that they may learn more about the UNT community and Denton, especially for the ones who are not native to Denton or even Texas. It’s always great when our volunteers say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that,’ or, ‘That’s interesting.’”

External relations director Kimberly Reasoner said she is ecstatic that the President’s Honor Roll is in effect.

“Ever since the survey was circulated, we’ve had a real, positive response to the program,” Reasoner said. “We’ve had people do hours from all types of organizations, from the Salvation Army to the community food center.”

Reasoner also said if people would like to learn more about community volunteerism, they can go to http://inhouse.unt.edu/honoring-volunteerism.

Graphic by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

Graphic by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

Feature photo: Members of the UNT Alumni Association helped prepare food packages for “Stop Hunger Now” as part of this year’s Big Event. Photo courtesy of Gary Payne  

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