130 students miss community service deadline

Erina Szeto

Approximately 130 students who missed the May 6 community service deadline this year were granted an extension until May 28 to complete their requirement.

Seniors who fail to complete a half day of community service in a group of at least three other Harvard-Westlake students will not receive a diploma at graduation and their transcripts will not be sent to colleges. Sophomores and juniors will have to do triple the number of service hours over the summer. These hours will not have to be done with other community members.

If this increased requirement is not met, students will not be allowed to enroll for the 2013-2014 school year or receive their school books. However, students who make the extension will not be penalized.

The number of students who missed the first deadline has gone up from around 80 last year.

“I think the Community Council has done a great job with both creating and advertising events and have been equally if not more vocal than last year, so I truly don’t know why the numbers have changed,” Community Council head Emily Plotkin ’13 said.

The council organized several events each month throughout the year and planned five community service opportunities for the weekend before the deadline. They also provided other incentives, such as free Dippin’ Dots for students who completed their service.

Next year’s service requirement has been changed to 12 hours of community service without the added condition of working with other Harvard-Westlake community members. Students still need to interact directly with their recipients.

“I’m not sure how the new requirement will change the number of people who miss the deadline, but I sure hope it will improve it,” Plotkin said. “The reason we wanted to change the requirement was to reward people in ways that weren’t previously recognized. Despite the change, the council next year will remain active in planning events throughout the year and will try to get kids to want to help and realize that they can make a difference.”