Volunteer Service: Awakening an Advocate
Organizing volunteer service is work: creating informational brochures, planning speakers, scheduling, and carrying out the business of public relations. But it’s worth it! Through collaborating with members of my Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter, two successful awareness events informed my classmates and community that the conversation about campus sexual assault will not be silenced.
Nudging people into service evokes a peaceful place that dwells inside, a place that allows listening with the heart while engendering a strength of spirit that follows through with action. As Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dahlia Lama instructs, “It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.”
It was compassionate action that led me to perform my most significant accomplishment as a student leader. I was introduced to the “It’s on Us” campaign to stop sexual assault on campus while researching for an English essay. My findings inspired me. From April 2015 until June 2016, I advocated for survivors, for prevention, and to promote awareness at my college.
A team of citizens
Realizing that the more people I could persuade to join me the better, I turned immediately to my Phi Theta Kappa chapter. They had the heart and the spirit. I only needed to share the facts. College students are most likely to be victims of sexual assault, typically by someone they know. Campus police departments are vulnerable to manipulating the statistics. In fact, our school newspaper had confirmed those things were happening on my campus. We must act! I explained “It’s on Us” campaign and read them the pledge: to intervene, to be observant, to believe survivors. That’s all it took. A team of citizen students formed.
Service is challenging
After sharing my vision of hosting an awareness event, the work began. I spent time with student organizations, campus administration, faculty, staff, and regional and national community support groups. I was busy. Continuing to share my passion for the facts, I scheduled appointments to gain resources. The most creative part was designing informational brochures. Those had to be just right because more than 19,000 students would have access to them.