Nashman Center exchanges community service hour tracking services – The GW Hatchet


Student organizations have a new platform to track community service hours.

The Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service has moved from the NobleHour tracking service to GWServes, a new website that allows student organizations to record their hours of service and advertise volunteer opportunities, at the start of the year. university. Student leaders said the new system could motivate students to become more involved in the service by funneling all opportunities into a central list for students to find and track events.

Previously, students could individually record service hours on NobleHour, but could not track hours for their entire organization.

As part of the new service, student groups can list opportunities for anyone to participate in community service. Student organizations can also register to participate in community service events of other groups.

Amy Cohen, executive director of the Nashman Center, said the new service enables students, organizations, faculty and staff to seek out and share opportunities for volunteerism, service learning and civic engagement. Last academic year, student organizations used spreadsheets to record hours of community service before moving to the new service, she said.

“GWServes, as a tool, makes it easier for every school, department and organization to access and register the service, whether it is a long-term, community-driven research project. , a course or a day of service, ”Cohen said in an email.

Nashman Center employees created focus groups in the spring to learn how to record hours of service before officials officially launch the new system in August, she said.

Cohen said officials needed to change programs because the previous provider was primarily used for individual students. Under the new system, student organizations can connect to each other in “one easy-to-use place,” and students can more easily record their organization’s hours of service.

To educate students about the new system, she said officials have formed a team of GWServes ambassadors made up of undergraduate and graduate students. The group hosted its first event last month to help students learn how to use the system. .

“We will be able to see the difference each individual makes and see how the impact of one person or group relates to the overall impact of GW within our community,” she said.

In recent years, students have campaigned for a simpler way to track service hours, as student organizations previously used a myriad of different ways to record hours. The University began officially tracking hours of service through an online service launched in 2009.

Student leaders said the new system will encourage students to record service hours and seek other service opportunities on and off campus. On its home page, GWServes includes three buttons for students to search for service opportunities, list events, and track the number of service hours organizations have accumulated.

Sophomore Abigail Sepich, treasurer of Circle K – a community service organization – said the new platform offers an “opportunity for recognition” as a group that actively participates in community service. She said the platform could also be a “proof point” for incoming students to check a club’s level of activity in the community.

Previously, she said Circle K records community service hours through her national organization’s tracking system.

“I also think it might make other people doing a service feel like they’re getting some kind of recognition,” she said.

Students are recognized for their service with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, awarded by the White House upon completion of 100 hours of community service.

Junior Yasmine Boukadoum, chairperson of GW UNICEF’s volunteering committee, said she decided to integrate the tracking system into the volunteering element of her organization because members were not previously tracking their hours of service, preventing students to be eligible for service scholarships.

“For our members it’s an incentive to go volunteer, so it’s great,” she said. “It’s a motivation to volunteer if we know there is a reward for it. “

Emily Geiger, a senior and co-chair of Relay For Life at GW – an organization that raises funds for the American Cancer Society – said the new system could encourage more students to take the first step towards engagement. in community service by listing all service opportunities in one place.

“Sometimes the hardest part is starting the process,” Geiger said. “This system allows us to determine what may be best suited and where other student organizations have volunteered and see what might be popular or what would relate to the goals of our organization.”

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