State Students Learning by Serving
September 2, 2004 3:17 PM
The phones ring non-stop one afternoon and students bump into each other like the swinging doors on the first floor of the business building.
The action is taking place at a trailer tucked between trees and the gymnasium.
Adam Calmenson, 41, has his gray t-shirt and navy blue sweater sleeves rolled up on an unusually sunny day on campus. As the program director for the
He can't. SF State students are in and out of the 60 by 30 feet trailer and Calmenson is quick to greet each visitor.
In 1973, Dr. Gilbert Robison, a former English professor on campus, created the CIC when it was known as the Center for Institutional Change at SF State. It wasn't until 1986 when the volunteer organization became the CIC. Fifteen years ago, the psychology building was the original location for the CIC until 2002.
Danielle Freeman-Reynolds, a 23-year-old sociology major, stopped by the CIC one afternoon. Freeman-Reynolds said she spent 10 minutes inside the CIC's resource center, where the walls are plastered with flyers for volunteer opportunities in fields such as domestic violence, the youth or HIV-related services. Though she came out empty handed, because of a scheduling conflict, the future guidance counselor hopeful isn't giving up.
"The CIC is helpful but I need to take an hour inside the resource center, not just 10 minutes," said Freeman-Reynolds.
"I'd like to go into the environment and tackle issues that need addressing," said Bevzerides. "[I’d] definitely also teach things to the youth," she added.
For Calmenson and his staff of 16, all are part-time employees that can only work up to 30 hours a week. The CIC is student-run and organized through the Office of Community Service Learning. For over 12 years, non-profits have been invited to meet SF State students free of charge. Next week, from Sept. 13-15, the CIC is hosting the annual non-profit agency fair outside the Humanities building.
According to Calmenson, the upcoming fair is one way for students to interact personally with possible volunteer agencies.
“We have the resource system and are open to the public. There are great websites out there but the thing is, we’re just trying to promote community involvement,” said Calmenson.
“This is a commuter school and you can say nothing to your classmates and get straight As in class. You’re actively learning and teaching from others [through volunteering]. It’s a two way process and a dynamic way to learn.”
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