Starting this semester, a new rule has been implemented into the Duchesne Center’s volunteer program. Volunteers are now only allowed to earn hours for the “Midnight Run” program once per semester. Previous semesters allowed for students to attend multiple Midnight Runs, often resulting in overcrowding and mismanagement. This new rule forces Duchesne Scholars to find alternative programs in order to complete their required hours.
When asked why the change was made, Craig Donnelly, Community Service Coordinator at Manhattanville College said “We have a bigger Duchesne scholar group now.” Due to the influx of new volunteers, the risk of overcrowding the scholarship program has increased substantially.
This change has led to many students questioning the Duchesne Center’s justification of the change. Some are asking why the program doesn’t just limit the number of accepted members by implementing a more demanding application, rather than limit senior members from obtaining their required volunteer hours. Alternatively, the Duchesne Center could be less lenient to those who attend but don’t contribute to the programs.
Nick Lombardi, a student coordinator of the Midnight Run program, said “Last semester we had far more student coordinators than we needed, and some of them would rarely attend the program.” Despite their tardiness, these students were still awarded their scholarship money along with their title of “Student Coordinator.”
By being less lenient to those who don’t try to engage in the program, the Duchesne Center could really lower the number of scholars thus solving the problem. Liam O’Keefe, the student coordinator of The Greenburgh Nature Center Program, has repetitively witnessed and fallen victim to the laziness and disinterest of many of their fellow volunteers.
When asked about his opinion on the new rule, O’Keefe said “It’s pretty dumb. I don’t see why they can’t just get rid of all the so called ‘volunteers’ who can’t be bothered to give a damn.”