Marshall College: Service and Citizenship

    While incoming freshmen may believe that their college experience will be spent partying too hard or studying too long, students who choose Thurgood Marshall College will learn that their time at UCSD isn’t all about them; its about helping people too.

    Sanh Luong/Guardian

    “”I decided to come to Marshall College because I was going to do the public service minor,”” Marshall sophomore Vanessa Van De Vanter said. “”The college created that minor and I was really interested in community service.””

    Marshall’s largest public service programs are its partnerships with Gompers Charter Middle School and UCSD’s Preuss School, which offer educational resources to underprivileged students beyond what they could normally obtain.

    “”The [students at Gompers and Preuss] come from low socioeconomic backgrounds,”” said Anjanette Urdanivia, accreditation and grant specialist at Gompers Charter Middle School and UCSD alumna. “”UCSD students and interns are blown away with what these kids have to endure before and after they go to school.””

    Although the current public service curriculum focuses on education, Marshall Provost Allan Havis plans to extend the college’s public service program to other fields.

    “”I would love to see a new social initiative to mobilize student and even faculty energies off campus,”” Havis said.

    In addition to pubic service, Marshall is committed to its philosophy of developing both scholars and citizens.

    “”I think a general criticism of college students … is [that there is] an unhealthy emphasis on obtaining good grades or academic achievement as opposed to personal development,”” Marshall sophomore Chris Dohna said. “”I think Marshall College is the best at addressing that concern by at least fostering an awareness and attitude of responsibility. Marshall’s philosophy is designed to make the student more than just a student; it considers the student as an active citizen.””

    Marshall sophomore Clare Lyons believes that Marshall students are the most socially and politically active individuals on campus.

    “”Marshall College students have a strong stance on social issues and we are really involved,”” Lyons said. “”Marshall was a college created by students, and in that tradition students have a strong presence in everything that happens in the college.””

    Marshall has close ties to several off-campus communities. One group, Active Community at Thurgood Marshall College, collaborates with the Cultural Association Uniting Students through Education every quarter to administer UCSD campus tours for Gompers students.

    “”By acting as ambassadors for [the college], we bring young formidable minds on campus and try our best to introduce them to something that they may not realize can be theirs – a college education,”” C.A.U.S.E. co-chair Carlos Martinez said in an e-mail.

    Many of Marshall’s connections to outside organizations celebrate the spirit of Thurgood Marshall himself. Within the last year, Marshall College has sponsored the African-American studies minor and continues to support exchange programs with Spelman College and Morehouse College, two historically black colleges in Atlanta.

    Marshall students are not only loyal to the recognition of other cultures; they are also dedicated to the college itself. Martinez believes that Marshall students take the philosophy of developing the scholar and citizen to heart.

    “”They try to embody it and carry it throughout their everyday life on and off campus,”” Martinez said in an e-mail.

    Lyons agreed that Marshall students’ loyalty to their college extends to outside settings and situations.

    “”I feel that all Marshall College students are proud of being Marshall College students,”” Lyons said. “”When Marshall students talk about what school they go to they don’t just say they go to UCSD; they explain about Marshall College and how it is different that just being a UCSD student.””

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