Western gives back and is rewarded big
By Matthew Hunt
March 25, 2012
Western has been named to the National Service Honor Roll for the fifth year in a row.
Judy Grimes, associate vice president for student affairs, said that she’s extremely proud of the service that students provide to the university and community. She said the service they provide is valuable to Missouri Western.
“It’s awesome to be recognized,” Grimes said. “It’s really important for us to showcase what our students are doing to give back to the community.”
Western submitted to the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education over 99,000 hours for three service projects that students, faculty and the community participated in during the 2010-2011 school year. Grimes said the three projects submitted were the Mural for Minds project, Griffon Edge and the Wildlife Society’s Hunter Education program.
“The indications from the Murals for Minds project were so positive,” Grimes said. “Griffon Edge spends 2 days sending students to over 45 locations, and students can connect and continue to give back to the community.”
Alison Norris, SGA president, said this is excellent for Missouri Western to receive the award again. She believes it shows how much quality the university has. Norris said one project that gets a lot of attention is Murals for Minds which SGA and Art Alliance team up to help schools or community centers and last year had over 300 volunteers.
Norris said the volunteers for this event range from all different groups. She said they get a lot of highschoolers who come for community service hours, students from Western and members of the community come out to help for the cause.
“SGA and Art Alliance have teamed up for the past 3 years for this project,” Norris said. “SGA funds the event, and Art Alliance comes in and sketches the art and our members paint the murals.”
Robert Vartabedian, president of Missouri Western, said this is a very meaningful honor. He said that the service component of this university is central to our mission.
“I think that it’s an important aspect of our students’ education,” Vartabedian said.
Grimes said the tremendous amount of service that the students, faculty, and community give back is incredible and important for the reputation for the campus. She believes that what Western does to give back to a school or hospital makes the community very proud of the students. She also said that she believes the number of volunteers will be greater for the 2012-2013 school year.
“I see a real sense that students want to give back,” Grimes said. “They really want to help, be involved, and once students go out and volunteer, they get hooked.”
Vartabedian said that he has long believed that you better understand yourself by giving to others.
“Also, what is more meaningful in life than somehow improving the human condition?” Vartabedian said.