BC Named To President's Service Honor Roll
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
On Mar. 10, Boston College was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for outstanding work in serving others. The honor roll serves as an acknowledgment of colleges and universities that emphasize service in their curriculum, and those that contribute positively to the surrounding communities.
Started in 2006, the honor roll outlined objectives for selecting worthy institutions for their placement on the list, and what the list would help inspire for other universities in the future. The program’s goal is to increase the number of higher education institutions that make community service a priority, to promote the intertwining of education and service, and namely, to make a statement about how much service is actually done by college students in communities all over the United States. This year, 642 colleges and universities were named recipients, and five were given the presidential award.
BC was especially commended for its work with integrating community service with education, through programs like PULSE and 4Boston.
PULSE, a year-long course, requires not just the two semester and 16 credit hours, but also 10-12 hours of community service per week at the same placement. PULSE integrates philosophy and theology into real community issues and emphasizes the meaning of social justice. Around 400 students get involved with PULSE, and serve local communities through food pantries, after-school programs, homeless centers, and more.
Christian Truglio, PULSE student and CSOM ’14, commented on his experiences at Nativity Prep School in Jamaica Plain, his placement for the year.
“[PULSE] takes all the Jesuit ideals that we learn in the classroom and brings them to a real world application,” Truglio said. “It forces students to get out of the BC ‘bubble’ and be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves.”
4Boston, a service program that requires four hours a week of community service at the same placement every week, offers a similar experience for students outside of an academic setting. Along with the hours of service, there is also a once a week reflection period for students to come together and discuss their experiences with their placement.
Anna Spencer, co-captain of 4Boston and A&S ’12, explained her view of the importance of education by saying, “higher education is … about understanding that your edution does not end at the classroom, and because of this, working to challenge yourself in every aspect of your life … learning begins in the challenge of discovering something previously unknown to you.”
Christopher Schuele, co-captain of 4Boston and A&S ’12, commented on why this commitment is so effective. “Our experiences of service and those we serve educate our actions, and inspire us to promote equality in the greater human community,” Schuele said.
4Boston, with about 350 members, commits their time to after-school programs, adult education programs, hospitals, food pantries, and more. Schuele also noted why volunteering at the same place every week is so influential.
“Serving on a consistent basis allows volunteers to develop steady relationships with individuals at their placement … 4Boston [also] gives students the opportunity to serve locally in the city of Boston. This allows volunteers to develop a greater relationship to the people and needs of the city of Boston. Service literally hits home.”
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll decided their list through a series of factors, including the depth and variety of service opportunities and how intensive service and education are connected.