Students fail to perform community service

By Chloe Lister

Forty seven upper school students had yet to complete their community service requirement upon the last day of 2009-2010 school year, Assistant to the Head of Upper School Michelle Bracken said.

Eight of these students were seniors.

The eight received diplomas at graduation but “[Head of Upper School Harry] Salamandra called them the week after school was out and told them that they would not get graduation status, which meant their transcript wouldn’t get sent to their school until we received their community service,” Bracken said.

All other upper school students who had not completed the requirement received an e-mail from Salamandra outlining the conditions under which they would have to complete their make up hours.

These students had to perform 12 hours of community service, three times the normal requirement, “in a bona fide manner” that “must directly help an undeserved population and/or the environment.”

Thirty-five had completed the requirement by last Friday.

Four upper school students waited until yesterday to turn in their community service forms. Until they did, they were not able to pick up their books or access their schedule.

“If they were eligible for Honor Roll they became ineligible,” Bracken said.

The current community service system is instituted and run by Community Council, which is composed of 12 students who plan events to assist the rest of the school in reaching out to their community.

This year’s Community Council leaders are Patrick Edwards ’11 and Catherine Wang ’11.

The requirement currently consists of one four hour project with at least three other people from the school community.

Although there was such a large number of people who waited to complete their service, Community Council members maintained a positive view of their system.

“I definitely think that we did a good job,” Edwards said. “We definitely put enough projects out there for people to do their community service. There were a lot of projects that people worked really hard on at the beginning of the year that not as many people went to, but overall we had a great ending to last year.”

Director of Student Affairs Jordan Church, who oversees Community Council, agreed with Edwards’s sentiment that the rate of community service completion rapidly increased at the end of last year.

“The Community Council knows that teenagers are prone to procrastination,” Church said. “Therefore, the council plans several events toward the end of the year to help these students out.”