Removing Outside NHS Hours Hurts Community

With the removal of outside hours, it is clear community service is no longer National Honor Society’s priority

Community service is a critical part of society. Helping others who have less than we do is something that people heavily rely on. Having young people involved in community service is very important as well. Many think a good way to get involved is by joining their school’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). While it might look good on a college application, it truly does nothing for the community.

The Troy High chapter of National Honor Society currently has 436 students.

Recently, our school’s chapter of NHS decided to discontinue the requirement to have outside hours of community service; this means that students can no longer earn credit for volunteering outside of NHS-approved events. The students now can only get credit for doing the “community service” that NHS sends out. This includes helping sell concessions at sports games, tutoring students after school and helping at other schools in the district. At no point is there any opportunity to help outside of the school district’s needs.

While some might not see a problem with this change, there certainly is one. When students help the less fortunate, they are immersed in new worlds. They see the other sides of humanity, the not so happy side, the ugly side. In seeing this, they can understand that their actions have real consequences or put themselves in other people’s shoes. That maybe they could end up eating in a soup kitchen or being the recipient of donated clothes. Seeing the faces of these people makes it more real. Seeing the real-life people who depend on volunteers makes community service more meaningful. Before, students wouldn’t really care because they didn’t know these people, it never affected them, but putting a face to the suffering makes it a whole lot more real. Students realize that everyday people are struggling to get by, and to make ends meet.

Community service is not only good for the students but also valuable for the community. What would happen if no one volunteered at soup kitchens? Donated clothing? Distributed medical supplies after a natural disaster?

Community service is not only good for the students but also valuable for the community. What would happen if no one volunteered at soup kitchens? Donated clothing? Distributed medical supplies after a natural disaster? ”

The country couldn’t survive, let alone a small city in Michigan. So many people rely on volunteers who do things for others with no benefit for themselves; our community desperately needs more people like this. Students need to be out in their community, trying to make it a better place, trying to make a difference in people’s lives.

I know students and others in the community may claim they don’t have time to go out of their way to do extra work for the community, that is why I believe the first step to get NHS members back doing actual community service is reestablishing outside hours in NHS. Adding outside hours to the NHS requirements will not only get more students out into their community, but it might even inspire a few to keep volunteering. Getting them involved in their community through volunteering will benefit both the community and the individual, even if they are only doing it to wear an NHS cowl at graduation. NHS could even set up a soup kitchen that students can go to to help out, this way it is a win-win for both sides.

The second step has to do with universities across the country. They need to start focusing less on students’ SAT scores and more on what they are doing outside of school. Anyone with enough money can prepare for a test and ace it, however, there are students who are smart and just don’t do well on tests. Then what happens for them? If colleges won’t accept them, and our society seems to believe college is the only next step after high school, what will they do? By putting more emphasis on community service and work outside the classroom, more students will be accepted into college and there could even be a drop in student stress levels.

A thought that could also be mentioned is that if students do not have time for community service, maybe they should not be in NHS. If they are not committed to helping out the community and trying to improve the city, then they should not join. I know students feel they need it to get into college, but I know many students, including myself, who got into the college they wanted without being a part of NHS.

When NHS stopped accepting outside hours, they stopped students from aiding our community. The change stopped them from seeing the harsh and cruel world that they will all have to survive in one day. This limits them in how they think and perceive the world. Not only do I believe that the NHS needs to require outside hours for all of their members, but also that all colleges and high schools start putting community service higher on their priorities. NHS will never make a positive impact on our community if it only allows students to volunteer when the sign up says, doing what it wants. Community service is a necessary part of any society, and if NHS doesn’t provide any actual community service then why it “necessary” for students.