Story by Sarah LeBlanc
A student-sponsored resource, Community Service Advisory Board, is forming on campus.
The formation of the Community Service Advisory board, or CSAB, as it is affectionately called, is still in the works with the hopes of becoming a student-led resource actively engaged in promoting service by students within the Des Moines community.
What makes this board so different from other formal clubs or activities on campus is its role in coordinating the service of others.
As Renee Sedlacek, the mind behind the idea, states, it “is not that we are starting a new club or organization.”
Rather, CSAB will serve as a tool that current community service organizations can use in both their short and long-term goals as volunteers for the public.
Sedlacek, assistant director of community engagement, describes her motivation for creating the board as stemming from its potential role as “a resource to student groups that are doing service, as well as to the Community Engagement and Service-Learning program.”
Drew Kaufman, president of the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega at Drake University, has been involved in the construction of CSAB and said he views it as a valuable resource for students interested in becoming active volunteers in the community.
Kaufman said that the goals of the board will lie in “trying to coalesce everyone around one idea” of service.
In the event of the formal establishment of the Community Service Advisory Board, Kaufman believes it will “mobilize people to do service, and it will make service activities easier and more successful on Drake’s campus.”
With all the organizations on campus, it can be a bit overwhelming to add community service to the plate of an already busy college student.
Sedlacek said the purpose for the board’s development is to, among other aspirations, “strengthen the quality of service projects” to enhance the “meaning to both the volunteer and recipients.”
This board would also improve the efficiency of “communication across groups” as well as “providing an opportunity for collaboration among student groups who are doing service,” Sedlacek said.
Still in its first stage of planning, the board is not yet a fully established resource for the organizations.
With collaboration, CSAB will become a tool for students in their efforts to build a better community to live and thrive in.
Since “there will always be a need for service in the Des Moines community,” Kaufman said, “Drake needs to have a role in trying to help those who need help.”
While the idea is viable, Kaufman admits “the first few steps are critical” in determining how to “create a board that is sustainable and can bring service oriented organizations on this campus together” to build a beneficial environment for both the students and the community.
Brainstorming sessions are still underway, and students are encouraged to share their ideas to enhance the formation of this idea and turn it into a reality.