The University of Houston-Victoria encourages its students to be involved in community service activities, and a national organization recently took note.
The Corporation for National & Community Service recognized UHV on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The university was one of 28 Texas schools honored. This included UH, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin. It was the second year in a row UHV has received the honor.
“Community service is a vital part of UHV’s role as a place of higher learning,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “We want our students, as well as our faculty and staff, to have a positive impact on our community.”
UHV’s emphasis on community service has led to the creation of several programs in recent years. Freshmen participate in a First-Year Experience course that includes opportunities to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations.
In addition, UHV hosts a Volunteer Opportunity Fair every semester to educate students about needs in the Victoria area. Nonprofit organizations that need volunteers set up recruitment tables and talk with students about available opportunities.
“UHV students volunteer and are very active in our community on a regular basis,” said Michael Wilkinson, UHV Student Life & Services director. “Within the last couple of years, we’ve added several new service initiatives. We have done this to increase the number of outside of the classroom learning opportunities. Giving back is good for you personally, as well as the community in which you reside.”
For the past two years, the university has offered volunteer opportunities through the Jags Join In – Day of Service. This year, 42 students volunteered at Victoria nonprofit organizations, including Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Adopt-A-Pet. Students also had the opportunity to take part in an Alternative Spring Break trip to help complete community service projects in New Orleans.
Most recently, a group of 28 students and four staff members went to Louisiana during Labor Day weekend to assist in recovery efforts after the state experienced severe flooding. The trip was suggested by the university’s administration and is a testament to UHV’s commitment to service, Wilkinson said.
“We want to continue to expand what we’re doing from a service standpoint,” Wilkinson said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be named to the President’s Honor Roll. It says a lot about our institution, and it echoes the fact that UHV is service-minded.”