During your career in the California State University system you have developed knowledge, expertise, and skills that can benefit others. Consider becoming a volunteer to put those skills to good use in your community. If you live close to one of our CSU campuses, there are a host of ways that you can continue to contribute to our students as a volunteer. CSU-ERFSA Past President Bill Blischke has compiled a list of 23 on-campus volunteer activities that CSU-ERFSA members are engaged in. In addition, recently our campuses have begun to address the issue of food insecurity among our students. Many have opened centers to help financially-strapped students meet their basic needs, and these programs need volunteers to help them function.
Also, remember that much of what CSU-ERFSA accomplishes for our members is done by volunteers. You can contribute by becoming a member of one of our standing committees. Contact the relevant committee Chair to express your interest.
Local government is another area where volunteers often are needed. Many cities and counties depend on volunteers to staff their Planning Commissions and other committees, and many counties depend on volunteers who have substantial free time to serve on grand juries. More ideas for volunteer service can be found on the CreateTheGood website, the JustServe website, and the Sixty and Me website.
In addition to the volunteer activities mentioned above, CSU-ERFA Past President Bill Blischke has suggested the following special volunteer opportunities for 2020:
UNIQUE, GRATIFYING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2020
I served as President of CSU-ERFSA from 2015-2019. One of the initiatives I promoted was a survey of our members on the twenty-three campuses to delineate the ways in which our retired colleagues remained involved in their home campus. We were able to decipher twenty-one types of involvement. You can see the list on the CSU-ERFSA website under (of all things) “Retirement Planning - Volunteer!”
As Immediate Past President, I have recommended that we create a CSU-ERFSA Volunteer Coordinating Committee to encourage our members to expand their level of participation. In addition, I am recommending that we add several new, unique and gratifying volunteer opportunities: voter registration and voting as well as 2020 Census responses.
There is an inverse relationship between age and voting despite the fact that young folks will be affected much more and for much longer than we will. Currently there is a nationwide effort to encourage students to become politically aware and involved. There was an article in the LA Times on 1/30/20 by Kathryn Sikkink, professor of human rights policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, titled “How to get college students to vote in larger numbers.” Kathryn described the efforts in colleges and universities throughout the US to significantly increase registration and voting. My home base, Dominguez Hills is actively involved in these initiatives!! I encourage each of you to become involved in voter registration and ballot casting efforts on your campus.
Dominguez Hills and several other CSU’s have official College Election Voting sites on campus and they are looking for College Election Workers. This requires a four-day commitment (February 29, March 1-3) from 7 am to 6 pm. It is a paid position and could be a valuable, unique and interesting experience. They are having trouble filling these slots because most students cannot miss classes or other work hours to engage in these jobs. Since a number of campuses do not have on-campus Voting Centers and you may not live near your home campus, you may want to consider working at one in a local community.
The second upcoming volunteer opportunity is the 2020 Census. California lost seats in the US House of Representative, the Electoral College and billions of population-related monies as a result of an estimated almost one-half million non-respondents to the 2010 Census. Once again, my home campus is creating a program to stimulate local citizens and non-citizens to respond. If you are interested in doing so, contact the relevant administrators and Associated Students at your institution.
I hope you consider participating in these new, unique and gratifying volunteer opportunities!!! Please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you decide to do so. Happy new decade!!!