This year, the high school’s National Honor Society (NHS) has made two major changes to its guidelines for members. NHS students must now participate in two official NHS events en route to completing the twenty hours of community service required for membership. Additionally, NHS has limited the number of hours students can receive for donations to five.
NHS officers made these changes to address the reality that many members completed the majority of the hours requirement through donation drives or through non-NHS sponsored events last year, sparking the additional problem of low participation in NHS sponsored events.
NHS’s decision to change these guidelines takes a good step towards ensuring that students engage in active service in the Wellesley community, which NHS aims to serve.
First, NHS’s requirement that students must participate in two official NHS events ensures that students are servicing citizens of Wellesley. While providing service for other organizations or events is important and should be encouraged, it is just as important that students in NHS engage with Wellesley residents.
Forcing members to serve at official NHS events ensures that they interact with the Wellesley community. Additionally, this requirement will help foster a sense of shared purpose among NHS members as they engage with their peers at events.
The more significant change, however, is the limit placed on the number of hours students can receive for donations. Last year, many students in NHS fulfilled the majority of the hours requirement by simply bringing in food, books, or clothing items for drives.
While these donations were certainly meaningful for their intended recipients, the amount of time required for students to collect these items was probably less than an hour. Time commitment is a very significant aspect of community service because volunteering centers around sacrificing your wants for others’ needs. This includes sacrificing your free time. This new requirement ensures that students will actually dedicate their time to service others, rather than just collecting items from their house.
With these new changes, students in NHS will be more engaged and connected to the community they serve.