Staff Editorial: Serving on September 11

As the nation marks the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11, GW students, especially freshmen, can commemorate the day by participating in acts of community service. The second Freshman Day of Service provides new Colonials with the opportunity to give back, and freshmen should take this chance to participate and contribute to this notable effort.

During last year’s Freshman Day of Service, the University announced that first lady Michelle Obama had challenged GW students, faculty and administrators to perform 100,000 hours of community service before May. If the school succeeded, she would speak at the Class of 2010’s Commencement Ceremony. While GW surpassed that goal by achieving 106,945 hours – and the first lady did indeed speak on graduation day – last year’s momentum should not stop with the success of the Obama Service Challenge.

GW students have demonstrated a commitment to service, and it is a vital part of the University’s culture. Over 1,500 freshmen participated in the event last year, even though for many students, it conflicted with other engagements. They took part in various projects scattered across the city, though many projects focused on helping military families and veterans. This year, it is important that just as many, if not more, freshmen maintain this enthusiasm and contribute to the effort. This is also a valuable way for new students to learn about D.C. and the various ways they can give back to the community through University-sponsored trips to unfamiliar areas of the District.

Even though the event is called Freshman Day of Service, Sept. 11 still marks a nationwide day of service. This Saturday, all GW students should volunteer or give back in some way. This day marks only the beginning of service projects throughout the year. Freshmen and upperclassmen alike should go out and do service not only on Saturday, but in the weeks and months to come. GW students can show that they don’t need to be challenged to give back.

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