THE LEWIS & CLARK College Student Leadership and Service Office (SLS) has created a new Project Leader position. This stipended position facilitates service-learning projects through the SLS office.
Currently, there are five Project Leaders leading trips to community partners like Start Making a Reader Today (SMART), Operation Nightwatch, Sisters of the Road, Wisdom of the Elders, Hacienda CDC, and Portland Animal Welfare Team (PAW Team).
“I really like reaching out to community organizations and letting them know that Lewis & Clark has students that are interested in getting off-campus and doing service and are committed to service learning and community engagement,” Hannah Spears ‘18, a SLS Project Leader for PAW Team, said.
The position was originally created not to just relieve some stress of SLS staff, but also to branch out the office, according to Harold McNaron, Director of SLS.
“I’m hopeful these new staff will help us better pursue our mission by engaging more stakeholders,” McNaron said in an email on Oct. 27.
By reaching further into the Portland community, the SLS staff plans to expand the community’s familiarity with them.
“We hope to do a better job of collecting and integrating community partner feedback within our processes this year,” McNaron said. “We also hope to strengthen our connections with faculty and better promote our office to the LC community.”
The staff also recognizes the challenges their office will face in the coming year.
“Sometimes they just don’t have the capacity to take everyone which is a weird thing,” Spears said. “You would think that the issue revolves around there being enough volunteers, but what I’ve learned recently is you can’t take everybody that wants to help.”
Spears argues that service is an essential part of LC community.
“I think service learning is important to Lewis & Clark because it allows for students to apply what they are learning inside of the classroom and outside of the classroom,” Spears said. “For instance, there are a lot of the education classes where the things they learn in class can very well be applied to the SMART program and the Hacienda CDC program. That aspect of it is important, but I think the real thing of it is that at a liberal arts school, we are looking to become well-rounded people.”
McNaron reiterates this sentiment.
“In SLS we strive to connect service and leadership via collaborative processes for positive individual and collective change,” McNaron said. “These processes can happen anywhere, but I think they are especially important on a college campus, where our entire community is working so hard to figure out who and how we want to be in the world. Also Lewis & Clark College has a tremendous amount of resources, and it is our responsibility and our joy to join in solidarity with others, sharing resources to our collective benefit.”
To get involved with SLS by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.