EDITORIAL: Required Community Service Is A Bad Idea

In a reflection seminar with students, which was among a slate of Martin Luther King Jr. events held at WCU in late January, Chancellor John Bardo made a call to students to become involved with community service. He added that community service should be a requirement of every major at Western Carolina.

As the Chancellor put it, “it’s one thing to serve soup; it’s another to know why.”

No immediate changes in curriculums are planned right now, and current students would not be required to perform the community service if it was added to their major, but if community service is added in the future, it would take the heart of the meaning out.

Although community service is a valuable experience to provide students, there is a contradiction involved with making volunteer work-mandatory. Making service a requirement to graduate may negate the spirit that such work should be done in. Students would be volunteering out of obligation and not out of any humanitarian intention.

Chancellor Bardo may very well force students to serve soup and not know why.