"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."-- Majorie Moore
Service is always an important element in a sociology or criminology curriculum. The best way to learn about the world around us is to engage with the community and to work towards social justice on campus and in our society. Many courses in Sociology and Criminology are designated as service learning. In courses with this designation, students will complete at least 15 hours of service work off campus in a government or non-profit agency. In some courses students may complete projects with community agencies on or off campus.
In Spring 2010, 2011 & 2012, Dr. Hess had two classes (SOC 231 Social Problems and SOC 420 Gender and Society) and the Sociology/Criminology club work with Interact to host the Diva Dash here at Meredith College to promote Sexual Assault Awareness week. About 75 people attended each time and participated in several "races" including a dash in high heels. In Spring 2011, Meredith proved this event would take place, come rain or shine! Due to weather the event was held in the second floor of the Cate Center.
In 2010-11, about 120 students from Meredith College Sociologycourses completed over 1650 hours of service work at Barwell Road Elementary School in Southeast Raleigh. This school is regularly one of the lowest performing schools in Wake County and has a student body that is virtually 100% minority. In addition to the hours students spent working in classrooms, the Sociology/Criminology club led a book drive to collect and distribute at least 2 books for each child at the school, approximately 1800 books. One student was asked by a child in the school as she handed her two books, "Are these really mine?To keep forever and ever?"
In the years between 2006 and 2009, student groups worked often in helping with yard work at the historic Latta House, the former site of Latta Univeristy which was a school established for former slaves after the Civil War. Students learned about the school, the history of the Oberlin Community in Raleigh (where the University was located), and helped maintain the property. The house in the picture on the right was the last building left from the University but it sadly burned down in 2009.