Program encourages volunteerism

Student Voluntary Services hosts open house for students

Last year, sophomore Megan Lyons was a mentor for children who needed someone to look up to.

This year, as she begins her second semester as program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lyons hopes to find more students willing to become role models.

"I love what I do, plus it looks good on a resume," Lyons said of her volunteering experience.

Lyons, an elementary education major, said she can remember one young boy who became her "buddy."

"I still see him every now and then," Lyons said. "You remember the impact you have on the students when you see the expression on their faces when they see you."

Today, Student Voluntary Services hopes to attract more students like Lyons to become volunteers at its open house at the Student Center.

As one of Ball State's largest student groups, SVS includes more than 2,000 students who participate annually in service projects both on campus and in the community.

Helen Stephenson, secretary for SVS, said a number of volunteers who participate in the membership program may be performing service hours for majors such as elementary education, family and consumer science, criminal justice and religious studies.

"This year, we have a good mix of students required to do work, as well as those who are volunteering simply to help," said Stephenson.

Stephenson said a number of students who do community service for class decide to continue with their volunteerism.

"Almost every program coordinator has said, 'I had to volunteer for a class and ended up liking it, so I stayed,'" Stephenson said.

With SVS, students have the opportunity to become involved in referral programs where the SVS office provides students with the telephone numbers of possible service organizations.

Another similar SVS program provides free transportation to students who volunteer, along with scheduled events where they can be of service.

"We have a volunteer program for almost everyone," said Doug Stant, SVS program assistant.


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