Q&A with Community Service Coordinator Alejandra Arias

Alejandra+Arias+%28right%29+dropping+off+collected+items.

Alejandra Arias (right) dropping off collected items.

With the COVID-19 pandemic making a lot of changes to the lives of NDB’s students, it also affected the way NDB had to approach mandatory community service in a new, safe way. The Catalyst sat down with Community Service Coordinator Alejandra Arias on what community service at NDB looks like during the pandemic.

The Catalyst (TC): What is your role at NDB?
Alejandra Arias (AA): I started last year as an Executive Assistant, and this new school year I’m also the Community Service Coordinator. So with that role, I manage x2VOL. I also manage all the drives, so do all the logistics for all the drives that we’re doing this year, any questions that any student might have either about what they need to do for community service, how to input their hours, if anything is allowed like anything that’s not in our current document, if it’s not in there but they want to do like a different opportunity that comes up to them they just ask me if it’s okay, or if anybody has questions on what they could do for community service I help out with that.

 

TC: How has community service changed at Notre Dame due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
AA: So, this year the biggest change is all the community service opportunities that we have in the document that we created can be done from home, or, for example, the drives, you can just drop it off, drop off whatever item, and then you get an hour of community service just for participating in the drive. We just want to make sure that the opportunity is there, while still keeping all students saved. The other thing that changed, is we took out five hours across the board. So because we’re not in school a lot of the NDB hours, we can’t do them, obviously, so we took off those hours for this year.

 

TC: How is NDB supporting students with community service due to the pandemic?
AA: So this year, I don’t know if you’ve taken a look at it, we have a really lengthy, full of opportunities document where you have access to a lot of ways in which you can serve from things in education, if you want to be a tutor, to drives so we can help organizations around our community. Also, I really love the film fest, because you can just watch a movie. I think most of the movies on there are awesome, and then you watch it on your own time and you just come to the discussion, talk about it, it’s really just like you’re with other people who watch it and it’s a cool conversation where you can share what you learned and share ideas on how to make things better, and also educate others.

 

TC: What do you recommend or do you have any advice for Notre Dame students who want to get more involved in community service during the pandemic?
AA: Check all the opportunities that we have on [the document]. I think it’s a really good way to kind of open your mind to a lot of different things just because we’re focusing on service. We’re focusing on education. So it’s a lot of ways in which you can learn, and then see what you like. That’s what I did when I was in school. I just found a drive, and then I was like oh my god this is amazing right, I want to help people who are in this community who really need something. And then I also used to do a lot of beach cleanups, and then that’s what sparked my interest in what I majored in in college, right, so just to explore all the opportunities that we have because we have a lot, and they’re fun, they’re easy. And, you know, you can learn, but you can also get your hours done.

 

TC: Are there any additional comments?
AA: I’m really happy that I’m doing this just because I think community service is a really good way to get involved, but also it just makes you feel good to help others, like there was never a time that you don’t feel good when you’ve helped someone out. So, I’m totally excited about this role, and I just hope we can do more and just getting involved with all of you Tigers is just really fun.

 

The link to NDB’s community service catalog can be found here.

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