The Honors Student Association will host events throughout the semester calling for students to get involved in animal rights, environmental, academic and economic hardship services.
The events will be organized into different series that will take place throughout the upcoming weeks in the semester. Each series will give students the opportunity to earn six hours of service during each of the four three-week series, totaling to 24 hours.
Sophomore business administration major Keena Johnson, vice president of the HSA, said the topics chosen for each series are based on what members of the HSA value and what would work well for the 24 Hours of Service campaign.
“We knew we wanted to do separate series and then from there it was up to individual people who are [like], ‘I’m passionate about this. I want to head up this,’” Johnson said.
Junior anthropology major Hunter Mathews, the HSA’s service committee chair, is taking the lead during the first three weeks with education.
For the first series, the events won’t start until the second week, with a presentation about service and academics.
For the third week, students will have the opportunity to write letters of appreciation to some of the staff and faculty in each department. The card-writing will take place on two different days, and also have an asynchronous option for students who prefer it.
The fourth and final week of the first series will involve partnering with Community Engagement to host a “Service Saturday” from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Mathews said he also wants to incorporate mental health related activities if he can and partner with the Legacy student organization to send out letters involved with that topic as well. For Mathews, he said the mental health aspect of his series is particularly important to him.
“Over this past semester, I feel like I just saw mental health in the school decline overall and I think a good way to help for that and push that in another direction is service,” Mathews said. “In the end it’s really gonna help the whole community from the inside.”
The second series will be focused around helping out in the community with economic hardship, and will be led by junior psychology major Melissa Henry, the alternative spring break chair.
The series itself has to do with helping out around the community and Henry said it will involve service such as helping out with homeless shelters and food pantries.
Henry said they will be partnering with LifeWise STL to help set up a day where people can learn more about economic hardship and participate in a service event.
Henry said her series is something she personally finds important, but is also something she wanted to focus on because of the lack of opportunities for students to get involved in their communities due to the pandemic.
“I was hoping that this semester we could bring in some more meaning [and] do something that really hits home for some people. I think homelessness and poverty is such a huge issue, especially since we’re so close to St. Louis where that is very common,” Henry said.
The third series for the campaign is based around environmentalism and is the series in whichJohnson is personally involved. This series will involve both presentations relating to the environment and partnering with The Gardens at SIUE to help educate and remove invasive species in The Gardens.
Students will also be able to decorate and place stepping stones to help out the staff at The Gardens.
The fourth and final series of the campaign will be related to animal service and will involve volunteering at an animal shelter.
For more information about the events and how to get involved, visit the HSA’s Instagram for the semester-long campaign.