AS Serve Day expands budget and outreach

AS Serve Day student volunteers will work with organizations outside of La Mirada.

Christine Chan and Christine Chan

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Biola students embarking on AS Serve Day will volunteer at three non-profit organizations on April 28. It is an effort to branch out from previous service trips that remained in the local La Mirada area, and as a result, the budget for the event has nearly tripled from that of previous years.

AS Serve Day, which was cancelled last semester, is seeing a large budget increase of $1,150  as students will be doing outreach at the Long Beach Rescue Mission, the Los Angeles Dream Center and Kidworks in Santa Ana, instead of working only in the surrounding La Mirada area. The original budget of $400 came from the discretionary fund from current AS president of Janine Marderian, a junior.  

“The reason for the budget increase is due to the expansion of the work we want to do,” said sophomore Amanda Clarke, Alpha East senator and a member of the AS Serve Day committee, which also includes seniors and senators Kevin Mitchell and Luke Robinson.

 

Expanding area of outreach

Clarke worked with scheduling, Mitchell oversaw food and transportation and Robinson supervised advertising. Clarke said the team would be finalizing marketing and final details this week.

The committee wanted to branch out after receiving positive feedback from students. They worked with Doretha O’Quinn, the vice provost of multi-ethnic and cross-cultural engagement, to secure the three locations.

With the added distance, AS has chartered two buses to transport the students. The expense for the bus rentals is $840, when the total budget for Serve Day in the past was usually between $200 and $300.

“Serve Days in the past have all been carpooled there but we want to be more of a bigger event and cater to more students, not just students with cars, so we’re doing buses,” Mitchell said. “We’re not doing just the community but we’re going further out.”

Marderian said that the service trip would be the largest yet, taking approximately 75 students.

“In the past, [AS Serve Day has] been very local and very small, so we’ve had a small turnout of students because we’ve only been able to plug a small number of students into service projects in La Mirada,” said Marderian, who also oversees the project.

Marderian expressed the hope that AS Serve Day could be incorporated under the Coalition for Social Action chair, as the area is sometimes neglected because it does not fall under a specific department. If the president does not pick it up, it will not happen.Biola students embarking on AS Serve Day will volunteer at three non-profit organizations on April 28. It is an effort to branch out from previous service trips that remained in the local La Mirada area, and as a result, the budget for the event has nearly tripled from that of previous years.

Partnering with for-profits

According to Robinson, a survey was also conducted among students to help improve future projects and is one of the reasons why the committee opted out of working with for-profit organizations.

“One main complaint is we were providing free service for not a non-profit organization,” Robinson said. “Some students felt like it was exploitation, that the surrounding community was taking advantage of Biola’s good-naturedness and using it to their advantage.”

Robinson said he hoped that by partnering with reputable, non-profit organizations this semester, Biola will continue to build lasting relationships that will continue in future semesters.

“To only spend $200 on something that is encompassing evangelism and what the student body should be asked to do and should be participating in — I don’t think it’s a lot to ask for more funding so that we are able to fulfill that kind of mission,” Robinson said.

According to Robinson, a survey was also conducted among students to help improve future projects and is one of the reasons why the committee opted out of working with for-profit organizations.


“One main complaint is we were providing free service for not a non-profit organization,” Robinson said. “Some students felt like it was exploitation, that the surrounding community was taking advantage of Biola’s good-naturedness and using it to their advantage.”

Robinson said he hoped that by partnering with reputable, non-profit organizations this semester, Biola will continue to build lasting relationships that will continue in future semesters.

“To only spend $200 on something that is encompassing evangelism and what the student body should be asked to do and should be participating in — I don’t think it’s a lot to ask for more funding so that we are able to fulfill that kind of mission,” Robinson said.

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AS Serve Day expands budget and outreach