This semester, we decided to stay right here at Woolman for our service day and work on our own land. We widened and flattened the Pottery Trail, making it more accessible to people with a range of physical abilities. Once we work on the two bridges on the trail, we will have an accessible loop, connecting the Art (Pottery) Barn to the Fire Road, to Mel's Pond, to Woolman Lane, and back down to main campus. Thanks to our wonderful community intern Tom for these photos!
This semester, students had the option to choose one of three service projects, each connected to a core class. The Peace Studies service project was a collaboration with the Nevada City-based art and activist collective Radical Art for these Times (RAFTT).
On Saturday September 23, many Woolman students and staff made their way to multiple locations along the Yuba River to participate in a day of restoration and clean-up. Over 500 other local volunteers also joined the effort and the entire day of service resulted in the removal of over 11,450 pounds of trash and recyclables from the Yuba and Bear River watersheds.
Knowing that our beloved Dorothy, has been wanting a flower bed for a long time, we decided to take it up on ourselves to create it. When we came up with the concept of creating flower beds, we decided we wanted to make our campus even more beautiful and to increase the flow of pollinators for the orchard on our campus.
If one asks,” How does volunteerism compare and contrast with activism?” it can be suggested that both are services provided for a community, but in terms of appropriating resources into either one, which suits a problem better?
Volunteerism vs. Activism. We must ask ourselves “What is the difference?” Is helping at a soup kitchen an act of volunteerism or is it activism against hunger? There are no real answers, only ideas. As we well know, ideas vary from person to person.
Paul Rogat Loeb uses a classic situation to describe the tension between volunteerism and activism: the Stanford student who says that he hopes one day "'my grandchildren will get to have the same experience working in the same homeless shelter that I did,'" (1). The problem with this statement is that the existence of a homeless shelter means that a system that allows people to become homeless still exists. There is nothing wrong with volunteering, but "pure volunteerism has its limits as a way to change society," (1).