This archived article was written by: Christine Olsen
Many students are unaware of CEU’s volunteer center, the “SUN” Involvement Center, located in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. The SUN (Serving Utah Network) Center’s director is Kathy Murray, who has been the director since its establishment in 1994. Over the years the center has completed hundreds of service projects and last year alone completed over 42,000 hours of service.
Their service projects range from mentoring at-risk youth in the community to visiting elderly at the Parkdale Care Center and everything in between. The center works closely with many organizations in the community like the Carbon County Food Bank, Golden Rule Mission, local elementary schools, the Family Support and Children’s Justice Center and Active Re-Entry to name a few.
The service projects are organized by student leaders who are enrolled in Murray’s SLSC 1800 Leadership in Civic Engagement class for two credit hours. This class is open to all students interested in being student leaders. Also, students can earn up to three credit hours for service by taking RECR 1800 Service Learning. For this class students earn one credit hour for every 18 hours of service they complete.
When registering for classes this year, you may have noticed classes marked with a (SL) symbol. This means that particular class is a service-learning class. In service-learning classes there is a component of the class that requires service, for example, in an English class students might be required to write a narrative paper on their experience in a service project. If a student completes six-credit hours of service-learning classes and completes 200 hours of service while attending CEU, he/she can graduate with a Service-Learning Scholars Recognition. The student receives blue honor cords to wear at graduation and a certificate of completion. This honor is transferable to all four-year schools in Utah.
Also, students involved in service are eligible for the Americorps UCAN Serve Educational Award. This is a federal grant awarded to students in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. There are three terms of service which students can enroll: 300, 450 or 900 hours a year. If the student completes 300 hours of service they will receive $1,000. If the student completes 450 hours of service they receive $1,250, and if the student completes 900 hours of service they will receive $2,362.50. The money can be used to pay student loans, tuition, housing, food, books, student fees and other costs associated with attending college. To enroll in the program students must attend a 30-minute orientation held every Friday at 1 p.m. in the SUN Center.
The SUN Center is preparing for the new school year and looking for volunteers and student leaders. If you are interested in helping, stop by the SUN Center in the JLSC Room 207, call 613-5624, or send an e-mail to [email protected].