By SAMANTHA HUNGERFORD
Eighty-one percent of the Allegheny College students who took the survey reported doing service in comparison to the national average which is just under fifty percent, according to the results of Allegheny College’s National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement report conducted by the Siena Research Institute.
The study compared Allegheny students to the 11,230 students from 28 schools who participated from 2009 to 2011. All participating schools paid a fee to be included in the study. At Allegheny, the survey was part of the Bonner High-Impact initiative program and was conducted last spring.
“[Donald Levy, director of Siena Research Institute] said they found that a lot of colleges were actually talking the talk but not walking the walk,” Roncolato said. “He said Allegheny is jogging and not bragging. So our students are actually more engaged than we actually give them credit for in terms of visibility and publicity.”
Twelve Bonner schools participated in the survey. Allegheny scored in the top three of the participating Bonner schools. When our overall, institutional score was recalculated to excluding our Bonner students, Allegheny’s score is still more than 50 percent greater than the all-schools average.
“[Service is] a great way to give back to the community that we call our home for these four years at Allegheny,” said Emily Tamimie ‘14, service vice president of Alpha Phi Omega. “Meadville becomes our home and what better way to give back to the community than by doing service.”
The study also found that Allegheny students participate the most in youth, health and environmental services and the least in elder care.
Lucas Schwanke, ‘13, works with youth at Meadville High School.
“Volunteering in all the different ways and areas that we can serve […] builds a connection and it allows the school to be seen more as a helpful part of the Meadville community and not a separate entity.”
While Roncolato said that students should be proud of our community involvement, the results of the survey shouldn’t mean that students can take a break from service.
“What we’re going to learn from this is it’s not just about the number of students involved,” he said, “It’s how significant is that involvement.”
Additional reporting contributed by Claire Teague. To see the full report, visit www.alleghenycampus.com.