Viking Volunteer Corps Opportunity for Community Engagement
Being a Viking is more than going to class, it’s also about getting involved in the community, both on campus and off campus. That’s why last year Elizabeth City State University created the Viking Volunteer Corps, and this year while staff and faculty are increasingly involved, more and more students will have the opportunity to also make a difference.
The Viking Volunteer Corps was created in response to a desire to have Vikings become more visible in the surrounding community, and also participate in activities on campus. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to sign up for any number of volunteer activities, and share the Viking Spirit not only with fellow Vikings, but also with the greater Elizabeth City community.
Russ Haddad, special assistant to the Chancellor, says last year students, staff, and faculty participated in numerous events, as well as assisting a variety of non-profit organizations. Haddad is the Viking Volunteer Corps coordinator, and he says this year a new addition to campus community engagement will be freshman learning firsthand about how they can get involved in community projects, and receive course credit.
“There is a service-learning component unit in the freshman seminar,” said Haddad. “They will be required to do 12 hours of community service during their first two semesters.”
In addition, Haddad says the ECSU Honors Program will also be requiring its student-members to participate in 12 hours of community service during each semester.
Haddad says to make community engagement easier, he has been working with university IT staff to launch software that will enable Vikings to sign up for volunteer opportunities. He says the site http://VolunteerNow.com/ecsu will be ready for use any day.
“Students and employees may click on it and view volunteer opportunities,” said Haddad. “From there, they can create an account that will track and log their hours from which we can pull reports. When they create an account, they can clock that they want to participate in the RewardVolunteer program, which provides rewards (to those) meeting certain goals.”
Last year more than 100 students, faculty, and staff donned the white Viking Volunteer Corps polo shirts and gave their support to events such as the Chancellor’s Color Run, the Boys and Girls Club, area public schools, the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce, and the North Carolina Potato Festival, to name a few.
For more information, and to become a Viking Volunteer, email Russ Haddad at firstname.lastname@example.org.