What Counts as Service?
Please note that what counts as service varies between tracking mechanisms (scholarship hours, fraternity/sorority life, campus departments, etc)
- Service is considered a voluntary act and should not be any paid position, with exception of AmeriCorps where you receive a "stipend" for your service
- The recipient of the service should be the community either through a non-profit, or a community focused arm of a business of sorts.
- Service needs to address a social issue. While it can be difficult to define a social issue, it needs to be working toward addressing a problem that exists in our community
- Service does not include transportation time or additional training/preperation that was required for the service, however does include any on-site training of skills that are required to complete service. For example: being trained on the basics of digging a trench, using tools, and guidlines before building a walking trail would count while the time traveled, the preparation you did at home, and the internet surfing about walking trails would not count.
- Service should not be done to benefit an organization in which you are part of or helping solely that organization. This includes student organizaitons, where planning to run an event does not count as service and religious groups where "bible studies" and "Vacation bible schools" do not count. Planning with the American Red Cross for a large blood drive would count as service if you are working directly with the red cross.
- Service as a member of a student organizaiton does count as service. We encourage you to do service with friends!
- Service as a member of a religious organization (such as a church or temple) would count when you are doing service with a humanitarian focus (such as providing assistance for impovershed communities, tutoring children, building a school, etc)
- Philanthropy is not service, and cannot be tracked as service. Participating in philanthropy activities do not count as service, but helping with the event does count as service.
- If you are part of a student organization and are holding an event, while the planning of the event does not count as service, helping run your own event does. If a particular task such as checking in other students is something you would ask for additional assistance for, participating yourself would count as service as well.
- Think about the community when you are deciding if it is service. Direct Service - where you are directly interacting with the community members (working in a homeless shelter), Indirect Service - where you are doing something that helps the community but without direct interaction (packaging food), and Non-Direct service - where you are helping an agency that works directly with the community (data entry)