Survey Says Sixty-two percent of La Roche students volunteer

By Maxwell Robinette, Associate Editor

Lend a hand? Sixty-two percent of La Roche students say they volunteer.

One hundred people participated in a survey that assessed individuals’ experiences volunteering. The survey asked a range of questions, including how frequently individuals volunteer, what types of opportunities interest them, and how familiar they are with opportunities provided through the university.

Sixty-three women, 36 men, and one non-binary person participated. Participants spanned 26 different departments and their ages ranged from 18 to 65.

The survey took place during the first week of October.

Sixty-five percent of women said they volunteer compared to fifty-five percent of men. The single non-binary individual said they volunteer.

The survey asked how frequently people volunteered. Thirty-one people said annually; 20 said monthly; nine said weekly; and two said daily. Thirty-eight said they never volunteer.Survey-takers chose three types of volunteer work that most interested them from a varied list. Environmental advocacy, education, and animal advocacy garnered the most interest, with 41, 39, and 37 votes respectively. Participants could select multiple options.

People wrote-in many different organizations with which they volunteer. 

Among the most popular: 

● Habitat for Humanity, with ten people

● the Repurposed Store, with nine 

● the Pittsburgh Conservancy, with eight

Fourteen people said they volunteered through local churches and clubs for a variety of different causes. 

The survey asked participants whether they ever volunteered through La Roche. Fifty-nine people said they had not. Additionally, the survey asked how familiar they were with volunteering options through the school. Twenty-eight said not at all; 46 said a little; 24 said moderately; and two said exceedingly.

Participants read examples of ways the university raises awareness of local volunteer opportunities and then answered whether they believe those efforts have been effective. Seven said not at all; 34 said a little; 46 said moderately; 15 said exceedingly. Fifty-two students wrote-in their opinion on La Roche’s efforts to raise awareness and encourage volunteer work among its students.

Fifty-two students wrote-in their opinion on La Roche’s efforts to raise awareness and encourage volunteer work among its students.

Nine students said the required volunteering hours for LRX courses successfully encourage students to continue volunteering. Graphic design major Anna Redfoot, 18, said, “People are required to do service through the LRX courses, so they most likely try to keep their eyes peeled for service project emails.”

Thirteen students expressed doubt about the effectiveness of requiring volunteer hours. Chemistry major Paola Oten, 19, said, “I don’t think students at La Roche take volunteering seriously. They kind of just do it to pass a grade.”

Seven students said they found the university’s emails useful. Criminology major Benjamin Cadamore, 19, said, “I read my emails. The emails talk about volunteer work. Therefore, I read about volunteer work opportunities.”

Nine students said La Roche’s emails have room for improvement. English major Hannah Brown, 20, said, “I think a lot of times the emails for volunteer opportunities are not sent out enough time in advance. If people knew about them a little sooner, they could plan on attending, and there might be more interest in them.”

Fourteen students said they ignore most school emails. Communications major Paige Rossi, 19, said, “I hardly ever check my email unless it’s from one of my professors.”

The La Roche community largely agrees on the importance of volunteering. Fifty-three percent of survey-takers said that volunteering improves society exceedingly; thirty-eight percent said it improves society moderately; eight percent said it improves society a little; one percent said it improves society not at all.

Ninety-two percent of survey-takers said that work, school, and other time commitments prevent them from volunteering. Participants chose up to three options from a varied list. Lack of energy, lack of transportation, and lack of awareness were other common responses.

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