Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

Day of Service requires expansion

October 31, 2013

Last Saturday’s President’s Day of Service (PDOS) was, for the fifth consecutive year, a great step in the right direction. However, it was still just a step.

The Editorial Board is a tremendous proponent of community service; so much so that we believe one official day of community service is not enough.

PDOS is one way that we can start to leave our mark on Baltimore. However, PDOS should be expanded upon to include more than just one day of service.

If the University wants to instill a sense of responsibility and service to the Baltimore community, it should do so in a more persistent capacity. Celebrating one solitary day as the “President’s Day of Service” appears to be too much of a token charity day. Community service is, sadly, often treated just that way — as more of a token event, an item to be checked off of one’s list, a bullet note to add to the resume or Public Relations move to have the appearance of corporate responsibility.

Forming relationships with community members, understanding the dynamics of the city and realizing how, as students, we can help others can all be accomplished through community service. These are goals that will require time — much more than a few hours on a Saturday in October can achieve.

We recognize the student body’s efforts in this area already with various community service oriented clubs. But PDOS provides a unique opportunity when almost the entire Hopkins community comes together to help Baltimore. The Editorial Board proposes that the University create even more events like this one. Perhaps the President’s Day of Service can be expanded into a President’s Week of Service.

We should seek to create a sense of responsibility on the Hopkins campus such that community service is no longer seen as a chore but rather as a duty or a sense of pride. Creating this mind-set has the potential to become permanent and extend to future Hopkins students.


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