Removal of P4P leads to less service

By Olivia Seecof

Writer

The Greek community’s requirement to complete a certain number of community service hours was recently discontinued along with the rest of the “Plan for Prominence.” This has caused a decline in volunteers at many local organizations. One organization that has seen weakened participation is Head Start.

Associate professor of management Jamie Hendry teaches an all-senior class entitled “Business, Government and Society,” which includes discussions of moral reasoning about organizational decisions grounded in philosophical theories. Many students in this class, as well as across the University community, have expressed concern over the issue that community service is lacking due to the discontinued requirement.

“During our conversation about egoism, the question of altruistic behavior arose, which led us to talk about community service, which led someone to bring up the P4P system. Some students expressed disappointment that their fellow Greeks no longer join them for volunteer activities at local organizations like Head Start because the new Greek evaluation system doesn’t reward this,” Hendry said.

“In class we recently heard from two young women who participate in Head Start each week. They have been a part of that organization during both stages of the community service requirement, allowing them to witness what seems to be a recurring phenomenon. The number of students who used to volunteer for one hour a week has greatly diminished,” Allison Pollack ’12 said, reflecting on the class.

The Plan for Prominence was originally developed to try to increase the total benefits of  “being Greek” at the University.

“It was a blessing that every semester each chapter had to participate in community service, benefiting the community,” Pollack said. “The rumors circling around this change include the accusation that students are merely raking in hours to complete their chapter requirements with no real desire to help others, sometimes even lying about the number of hours completed.”

Now that students are aware that organizations that once experienced a great deal of support and service from the University no longer do, many students are taking time to reflect upon their actions.

“What does it say about the students, that we aren’t intrinsically motivated to help others? Why must there be something in it for us in order for us to want to do something good for someone else? Have we been so conditioned that we only associate community service as something for our own personal benefit?” Pollack said.

Head Start is just one organization that has been affected by the decision to eliminate Plan for Prominence requirements.

 “My friends and I used to go to Mostly Mutts every other Saturday morning and now we don’t go. Not that we don’t want to help out anymore, it is just that there is a lack of motivation since the sorority [and fraternity] requirement is no longer in existence,” Anna Rogers ’12 said.

The drop in student volunteers has also been seen within the Bucknell Buddies, Donald Heiter Community Center and food bank organizations, among others. These organizations all still need volunteers.

“I think that everyone has at least one hour a week to give to others, and who knows what a difference in someone else’s life that hour will do,” Pollack said.

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