Founding Precept: Service

“The College, itself, the product of philanthropy, should find ways to contribute to its community… with services natural for it as an educational institution. Policies must be maintained that support these outcomes.” – Statement of Founding Precepts for Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Greetings from the SERV board! With the start of the new semester, we are encouraging you to use SERV (Support, Encourage, and Recognize Volunteerism) as a resource and make community service a part of your routine.

SERV exists to help Oliners find meaningful activities to “contribute to [Olin’s] community, and beyond.” We organize campus-wide events throughout the year. One of our biggest events is the SERV auction — thanks to you, we set a new record this year by raising over $10,000 for Minds Matter Boston and Hurricane Sandy Relief.

SERV also informs the community of volunteer opportunities. Past Oliners have referred to SERV as a “community service search engine.” Our goal is to better broadcast what events are happening and being organized so you can help out.

Keep in mind that your community service activities are not limited to the ones we share with you. You should always feel free to let us know if you want help putting together a community service event for an organization or a cause that is important to you. We are here to support the Olin community in their philanthropic endeavors, from providing guidance and monetary support to publicity and tabling people power. SERV is a resource for you, the student body.

Now here is our call to action. Since the beginning of Olin, 3 to 5 pm on Fridays has been designated ‘Friday SERVice’ time; that’s why classes end at 3:10. We are working hard to organize relevant and engaging activities each week to make a difference and give back to the greater community.

When we’re caught up in the stress of classes and extracurriculars, it’s easy to let community service slip through our fingers. In recent semesters, we have noticed a significant decrease in the number of participants in Friday service. There was once a time in Olin’s history when most of the college was involved each week – we would love to see that level of commitment again!

Being aware of Friday service time not only means participating; it also means respecting the time set aside by the college for such activities. This includes not scheduling events over that time, and not using that time to work on non-community service related projects. We are asking all student organizations and clubs to please respect the few hours devoted to community service we have each week.

We also want to hear your ideas to make Friday Service a weekly tradition that everyone can be excited to participate in, as well as more enthusiastic involvement. Some of our upcoming events include Penny Wars, Relay for Life, volunteering for the Science Olympiad, and more!

SERV is here for you, and we are always open to your ideas! Email us at serv AT olin.edu, and follow us on Twitter @olinserv to get the latest update on upcoming events.