Our largest student organization at Saint Michael's isn't related to sports or politics or socializing. At St. Mike's, 75 percent of our students rally around one idea that is so simple, it's radical: helping people.
By the time they are seniors, 75% of Saint Michael's students have participated in community service or volunteer work (compared with 59% at all NSSE Schools).
When our students get behind a service project, they're relentless. One professor says, "It amazes me how motivated our students are in applying themselves to a cause. No risk is too large."
You can build a house. Provide disaster relief. Help rescued animals. Mentor elementary school students. You could even throw a prom for senior citizens in the community. Through our Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) and other service organizations, the opportunities are endless. "We do so much volunteering, we don't even think of it as volunteering," says a student.
If there's a cause that matters to you, you'll find friends to help you champion it and ways to make a difference. Through student efforts, we recently became one of only six Fair Trade campuses in the country, meaning all the coffee, tea and bananas you enjoy on campus are Fair Trade products. To cut down on bottled water consumption and waste, our water fountains now all have bottle refilling faucets, thanks to our Green-Up team efforts. We reuse, recycle and compost with a vengeance. We even started a "Fix it with Five" program that awards an annual grant to help a nonprofit - the program just won the COTS Leahy Leadership Award for service to Vermonters.
Here, there's no right way to help. It's just the right thing to do.