WILEY: Lowest admissions rate on campus

William T. Wiley, Jr.

The Special Olympics Fall Festival brought out the best of Villanova. Hundreds of volunteers helped during the two-day event, and while this was a great experience for everyone involved, it started to make me think about the state of volunteering at Villanova. It has led me to a revelation about Villanova that I think may be unique to our university.

What I find astonishing is that you have to apply for and be accepted to most volunteer organizations. You can’t just volunteer your time anymore. There is an application, an interview and often a second round of interviews. We turn people away from giving back to the community.

Over 300 people were turned away from the Blue Key Society this year, and I am sure that other organizations such as SGA, Ambassadors, Bigs and Littles, Orientation Staff and Habitat for Humanity all had to turn people away as well. There are so many people who want to be a part of service organizations that are turned away from volunteering.

While this is a testament to students at Villanova, this may in fact be a self-perpetuating cycle of exclusion. It seems that once you get to the inevitable interview question, “So what do you do outside of class?” and rattle off one of the aforementioned activities, you’re a shoe-in for whatever you’re applying. They indicate that other students picked you, so we, whoever the “we” may be, should pick you too. The result: a segment of the Villanova student body that is so involved they should be issued Blackberries with their Blue Key sweatshirts, just so they can keep track of their schedules.

What’s the point of all of this? Is it to go to as many formals as possible? I think that my fellow students and I should all find something we have a passion for, and give it our all.

What’s the point of being a part of so many things that you can’t give each one the attention that it deserves? Especially when one of the 300 people who were rejected would be happy to have something to do with his or her time.

This is not to say that the people who are members of these organizations are undeserving of their positions, because I am sure that most of them are. The motives for joining them are what I think we should call into question. We should not join the Student Government Association for the purpose of it being a resume builder, but rather from a strong desire to represent the students of the University, and make this a better university.

Perhaps the recruitment processes for these organizations should be improved to accept not only people who have a strong desire to volunteer their time and build up that three-page résumé, but also those who will give these organizations the attention they deserve.

I won’t lie, when I walk past a tour on my way out of the library, and all that the tour guide has to say about the library is, “This is the library. It has over a million books, and it’s four floors tall,” I can’t help but think that there might be some more qualified individuals for this position.