CSU Student Volunteers Give Back to California's Quality of Life

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu, 562-951-4800

Each year CSU student volunteers contribute more than 30 million hours, both as part of their academic experience and as a university-encouraged service. As a result of the CSU’s emphasis on community service and learning, nearly half of CSU’s 400,000 students are at work locally - bringing tutoring, civic outreach, and other service contributions to their neighbors.

The Student Leadership and Development office at Cal State San Bernardino, for example, launched “Noodles in November,” a donation campaign that encouraged faculty, staff and student organizations to donate ramen noodles to a local resource center for people who are homeless. As an added bonus, a $100 cash prize was awarded to the student organization that donated the most noodles. By the end of the campaign 7,496 packets over the goal, were collected.

"I believe these self-initiated projects speak volumes about our campus and our goal of being a good community neighbor,” said Diane Podolske, the director of Service Learning at Cal State San Bernardino. “Our students, staff and faculty do outstanding service projects to meet community needs.”

At CSU Fullerton, student leaders from the Volunteer & Service Center developed a week of activities designed to raise community’s perceptions of hunger and homeless issues as part of National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week in the month of November. Student organizations distributed educational material providing facts about homelessness in the community and information on volunteer opportunities for students. By the end of the November $600 had been raised, dozens of boxes of used clothing and food had been collected to the Orange County Food Bank.

The Fullerton and San Bernardino campuses are just two examples of how students are impacting their communities. Last year, for example, CSU Fullerton students logged in 110,000 hours of service from ongoing community service in tutoring at homeless shelters, mentoring at after-school programs, working with abused children and social justice/advocacy projects that are coordinated throughout the community.

“CSU students contribute nearly 30 million hours a year to activities that are responsive to community needs. As they do, they develop deep, life-long values for community service and leadership,” said Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “In addition to students who volunteer through CSU classes and the Americorps program, many others serve the community through student-run organizations and civic awareness events.”

The CSU, a national leader in service-learning initiatives, serves through its 23 campuses, as a partner in local communities across the state. To learn more about the CSU as it affects the economic, social, intellectual and cultural life of all of California you may access the CSU impact report at http://www.calstate.edu/BudgetCentral/. The report also provides a regional breakdown of the impact CSU has in generating revenues, jobs and graduates for area communities.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 400,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu.

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Last Updated: December 21, 2004

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