Students line up to volunteer

    The annual Volunteer Expo organized by the A.S. Volunteer Connection was held Oct. 22 on Library Walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to promote student volunteering.

    Hana Hsu
    Guardian

    More than 60 different volunteer agencies gathered at the expo. Campus, mentor, animal/wildlife and health agencies participated. These agencies informed students of their organization’s objective, past service projects completed, and upcoming activities that interested students may participate in.

    “”It was really good,”” said Marissa Boren, a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt College. “”I think it is a good opportunity to see what is out there and how we can help the community.””

    The organizations explained the nonmaterialistic incentives that go hand-in-hand with volunteering; by joining some of the organizations, students gain exposure to job fields and majors in which they are interested.

    Hana Hsu
    Guardian

    Scripps Health gives its volunteers, especially those who are inexperienced, a sense of what goes on in the medical field to see if it is what they really want to pursue as a career. Teach for America is beneficial to those who plan to enter the field of education, and South Bay Community Services volunteers learn accounting skills by helping others file taxes.

    This is especially helpful in the midst of a declining job market.

    “”Volunteering at places like Baykeeper gives students a better awareness of problems facing their community,”” said Elizabeth Studebaker, a spokesperson for Baykeeper, an environmental organization.

    Throughout the day, booth workers stressed the importance of applying their volunteer experience to gaining a better understanding of their communities.

    Because they may pick the hours they want to volunteer, students find the programs more convenient to their schedules. Some students said that they are aware, however, that any amount of time that they spend volunteering is appreciated by those helped.

    “”The few hours that we spend with them mean more to them than to us,”” said Aparna Kolla, an Earl Warren College freshman.

    Rosalynn Taing, the executive director of Volunteer Connection and a senior at Warren college, believes that her organization could have done a better job advertising the expo, although she said it still turned out to be one of the most successful years.

    “”We have only received positive comments about the event,”” Taing said.

    Volunteer Connection had been preparing for this event since the summer. The expo attracted approximately 25 more agencies to UCSD than last year. Over 1,000 students visited the booths and signed up to request further information.

    The only surprises were unanticipated religious clubs at the expo. The A.S. Volunteer Connection had initially tried to avoid combining religion into the volunteer event.

    The turnout was more than expected, organizers said, even with the 311 concert taking place at Warren Field at the same time as the expo.

    Those who visited at least three tables were given free ice cream and popcorn. In addition, each organization distributed complimentary items such as candy and condoms to prospective volunteers.

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