Marshall students give back through community service

During college, a time when students are focused on classes, extracurricular activities and potential jobs, Marshall University students have still found time to give back to the community. 

“I have grown to love Huntington. Having so many opportunities to give back to the community means that I am able to invest into the community in ways that I find meaningful,” Jacqueline Browning, senior and president of the National Society of Leadership and Success organization, said. “This allows the betterment of a city that is close to my heart, which is a wonderful feeling.”

Marshall currently has more than 250 student organizations and clubs, according to the university’s engagement site, HerdLink. More than 140 of those organizations cite community service in their description, but even more find ways to give back to the community. 

“There are several organizations that their primary focus isn’t necessarily service, however they do a lot of outreach, they have a lot of community service hours,” Will Holland, director of community engagement, said. “All of our Greek chapters on campus are extremely good at reaching out to the community. Groups that you don’t necessarily think of being associated with service are doing a lot of great things and putting in a lot of hours.”

Browning said community service not only allows students to give back in different ways, but it allows them to expand their horizons.

“I think it is so important to get out of our own bubble and to see the world and our community in a different way,” Browning said. “This broadens the way we can see our community and the people in it.”

With such a high number of organizations doing community service, Holland said it can be difficult to get a specific number of hours that students are putting back into the community. 

“It’s so hard to track,” Holland said. “We’re talking several thousands; I want to say just our fraternities and sororities alone are bringing in thousands of hours every year, and that’s just a portion of all of our student organizations.”

Students interested in finding an organization to fit their interests can check HerdLink. Holland said they can also contact him and set up an appointment to find the best fit for their interests. 

“The more engaged our students are, the better success they’ll have here on campus,” Holland said. “And when it comes to the community service, the more engaged they are with the community, the more connections they’ll have, the better the letters of reference they’ll have and the better their resume will look.”

Brittany Hively can be contacted at [email protected]