F&M lacks culture that promotes community service participation

By Anna Goorevich || Opinions Editor

Isabel Paris ||Layout Assistant

Ruby Van Dyk || Editor In-Chief

Each and every day, tour guides walk through campus preaching how close F&M is with the greater Lancaster community. Boasting about the abundance of community service opportunities through the Ware Institute, Greek organizations, and other campus groups, on the surface level, F&M does appear to be committed to giving back to the Lancaster community. However, do F&M students live up to these lofty standards? As Diplomats, are we effectively taking advantage our resources and giving back to those who are less privileged?

F&M SALC’s and the Ware Institute’s 16th annual TeamWork event is next weekend. Not only does it bring yet another opportunity to take part in community service, but also brings with it a reminder of how little the average F&M student gives back to the Lancaster community. TeamWork is a program where about 600 students, 30 athletic teams, greek organizations, and clubs, all participate in over 20 different events. Spanning from cleaning up streets, painting fences, contributing to local youth centers, and more, TeamWork grants students the opportunity to have a hands-on impact on the community.

For many students, this might be the only time they participate in any type of community service at F&M. The fact that this only takes place during one weekend each year reflects the fact that community service involvement is something that is missing in the culture here at F&M. We’re all so obsessed with the ongoings of our own lives that we hardly ever look outside the F&M bubble and recognize the amount of need that is present in Lancaster county.

Community service isn’t something that college students should be exempt from. If anything, this is a time in our lives where we should have the time and energy that enables us to give back. This isn’t to say that F&M students are greedy or ignorant, but that the culture fostered here at F&M, especially one that emphasizes the rigors of academic life, many times prevents students from unlocking their potential to give back.

Although located in Lancaster City, it many times feels that F&M students are isolated from the greater community. And while F&M students are wholeheartedly focused on on-campus responsibilities, like academics, these responsibilities shouldn’t be hindering our students’ abilities to give back, but enhance them.

While the Ware Institute is extremely helpful in providing community service opportunities to students, the time constraints of school work and other responsibilities deters students from participating in them.

One solution for this could be to encourage professors and faculty to structure their classes in a way that embraces the city and to give back in whatever way possible. Having more interactive learning experiences, such as a government class that allows students to engage with the Lancaster community, or an environmental class that works with a local environmental organization, will allow F&M students to give back and unlock their own potential to become exceptional civic servants in the future.

While TeamWork is a valuable program, F&M needs to challenge itself to ensure that its students are embracing Lancaster City and providing an environment where students can foster the necessary skills to become contributing citizens in the future.

Sophomore Anna Goorevich is Opinions Editor, her email is agoorevi@fandm.edu

Sophomore Isabel Paris is a Layout Assistant, her email is iparis@fandm.edu

Sophomore Ruby Van Dyk is Editor-In-Chief, her email is rvandyk@fandm.edu

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