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Ohio State receives service honor for the 4th straight year

Courtesy of Access88

For the fourth consecutive year, Ohio State has earned itself a spot on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its civic engagement.

According to OSU’s award application, 24,530 students participated in a service activity during 2010-2011 academic year. For every student who has participated in service, the average is more than 30 hours of service per student.

In total, the hours of service contributed are equivalent to the work hours of 394 full-time employees for one year, according to OSU’s service-learning website.

“It definitely shows the impact Ohio State students can have. It really does add up when students go out into the community and focus on an issue that they can have an impact on,” said Sarah Graf, a third-year in psychology and strategic communication.

Graf is a student coordinator for Access88, an OSU service outreach program that aims to inform and encourage students in grades K-8 who reside in one of Ohio’s 88 counties to pursue higher education.

Each trip consists of 12 OSU students and the program will take a total of six service trips for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Access88 is one of many student-led service organizations that can be found on campus and in the community.

“An honor or an award is great to receive, but this just brings to light the amount of impact we have as an Ohio State student body,” Gray said. “It’s wonderful.”

One of OSU’s more well-known service organizations, Buck-I-Serv, provides various opportunities for students who wish to serve communities outside of Columbus. The alternative break trips consist of a week-long, substance-free service project during winter, spring and summer breaks.

Some students say they appreciate the opportunities OSU offers for students to get involved with service.

“I think Ohio State does a great job contributing toward service. Groups like Buck-I-Serv and the BuckeyeThon give multiple opportunities for students to get involved, especially with how well OSU promotes the programs,” said Audrey Eichenlaub, a second-year in medical laboratory science.

Hannah Zoller, a co-chair of the student organization Pay it Forward and a third-year in social work, said she thinks the award is directly linked to being an OSU student.

“Students are passionate about causes and what drives them is living up to the standard of being a Buckeye,” Zoller said. “We’re not here to just go to school. As Woody Hayes said, we have to pay it forward.”

Other service organizations that contributed to the receipt of the award include the Optometry Clinic at Faith Mission, College of Pharmacy patient care projects, Women in Engineering summer camps and ServeCorps. In total, these organizations have served an estimated 21,985 members of the community.

OSU was one of 110 institutions to receive the award.

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