October 5, 2010
In its Sept. 27 editorial “Volunteer Day is still lacking in depth,” the Daily Bruin editorial board focuses more on the details of UCLA’s Volunteer Day rather than the long-term effects that Volunteer Day has on the incoming students who participate.
The opinion centers solely on the physical tasks that the volunteers performed, such as painting flower pots and picking up trash.
It does not mention other meaningful activities that were performed, such as the interpersonal interaction among the elderly and children, and most importantly, the interactions and bonding amongst the students themselves.
In the long run, however, volunteering and the purpose of Volunteer Day extends past the actual tasks performed by the students and to the impact that UCLA’s presence has in the community.
Volunteer Day fosters a deeper relationship between incoming students and the greater L.A. community by allowing the students to travel to new parts of the city and by showing Los Angeles the presence and commitment of UCLA students.
In addition, the event allows new students to see how simple it can be to volunteer and get involved on campus and in Los Angeles.
Volunteer Day is a tangible expression of the newest “True Bruin” value: service.
All incoming students, upon arriving to school, are given the opportunity to get involved and serve the community.
While the actual tasks performed may not be life-saving or incredible endeavors, the event itself and the impact it has on the consciousness of the student body and community is in itself a service.
However, it is also important to look at the big picture, especially when dealing with such a massive operation.
As with any program, there is always room for improvement and suggestions are more than welcome at the Volunteer Center.
We would like to strive for the best experience possible for Bruins and a greater impact on the L.A. community, so we welcome any thoughts or suggestions you have at email@example.com.
If students are interested in deep and more meaningful volunteer projects, there are thousands of opportunities available on campus and are featured at the Volunteer Center website: volunteer.ucla.edu.
Volunteer Day is not meant to be a substitution for community service.
The most meaningful community service for both the community and the volunteer is not one-time but is a continual interaction with the communities served.
Volunteer Day is not the end of a new Bruin’s community service but the start.