Last spring, the brothers at Washington Beta achieved a remarkable 90 percent chapter participation rate in their service learning activities.
Then-community service-learning chair Bryan Keightley, ’14, talks about how they did it.
How did this all start?
We set a goal that we wanted 100 percent service participation every quarter, and every quarter we wanted every member to do four hours of community service. We wanted these service programs to help them as people, to make SigEp better, to make themselves better.
Do you do one type of service, or a variety of things?
We do a whole bunch of different community service events. Relay for Life, Boys and Girls Club, help with construction of a local store, help with landscaping, go visit and clean a homeless shelter. It’s actually gotten to the point where a lot of community organizations know what we’re doing, so they’ll send us an email saying they have opportunities.
Has any one project been the most meaningful to your chapter?
We started a Saturday tutoring program for middle school called Early March. It was just something we could get excited about because we just thought we could make a difference in their lives, and in our lives too.
My ‘big brother’ was doing some work at a local middle school, and one day he suggested the chapter could tutor them. We created a proposal to the school board, worked with the vice president of the school, and worked with the teachers to get the kids’ participation.
How do you keep everything organized?
At first I thought it would be a good idea to get a whole bunch of different events going, but it actually works better if we have three big events every quarter and try to get a bunch of guys out.
Any tips you’d pass on to the rest of our chapters?
It’s not a once-a-year thing when we think about service. It’s continually throughout the whole year. I feel like it’s definitely made a difference.