Community service hours policy changes

Students have more options for completing requirements

Giving+back+to+the+community+is+one+of+this+school%27s+core+values.+Students+participated+in+the+Day+of+Service+on+Sept.+13.+

Gracie Carr

Giving back to the community is one of this school’s core values. Students participated in the Day of Service on Sept. 13.

Andrew de las Alas, Reporter

Service hours, sometimes considered a burden on a Saturday morning when you would rather be sleeping in, are noted as a foundation for this school’s Christian identity. This year, changes were made under the guidance of the Holy Cross Governance Board to bring this institution more in line with other Holy Cross schools.

In the past, students were permitted to earn hours only from one approved agency. This year, according to director of Christian service Mrs. Shannon Fox ‘80, students only need to earn 50 percent of their hours through an approved agency and the rest can be earned either through the school or through the student’s home parish or place of worship.

The inclusion of non-agency hours is specifically geared toward motivating students to get out into their communities. Fox said that some students had volunteered at confirmation retreats or youth groups and felt that their service should be recognized. She also said this refocusing on the community aspect of service is “a way to keep students active in serving, but also active in Cathedral and their parishes,” she said. 

New opportunities for service through the school are displayed under the Christian Service page on the school website. For example, students may volunteer at food pantries, and recently, some students helped out at a festival by Down Syndrome Indiana. Fox said that students can also count hours through activities and clubs like the Environmental Club recycling bin pick-up. 

“We are still keeping an emphasis on service for the poor and vulnerable. That’s why the Holy Cross schools were founded to begin with, to educate those who were poor,” said Fox. Service is an integral part of the Holy Cross identity, and this year, the school is working to highlight that notion even more.

Fox said that students are doing well when it comes to service hours, but she reminds them to not procrastinate. If one hour hasn’t been logged yet, she urges students to start volunteering as soon as possible. 

In case you have trouble with finding service or want recommendations for agencies, feel free to visit Fox’s office in the Shiel Student Life Center.