Opinion | Volunteering is a core part of community

Volunteering programs allow students to connect and assist their community.


Lilly Stence

First-year students wait to listen to speeches during convocation at the University of Iowa’s Pentacrest on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.

Chris Klepach, Opinions Columnist

This year, I took part in OnIowa’s move-in crew as a volunteer. 

I can’t lie, it didn’t hurt that volunteering waived my early move-in fee.  But in the end, the experience was an amazing way to meet my peers and talk to new students. At the end of the day, I can say my experience was tiring but enriching.

OnIowa is a program designed by the University of Iowa to welcome incoming students to campus and Iowa City. This was my first year volunteering with OnIowa, and I left with a new perspective on volunteering. 

Some of the services myself and other volunteers provided was moving students items into the dorm rooms from their cars, talking with students, parents and residence hall staff, and reassuring new students just how amazing college is. This may not seem fun to everyone, but it provided me with lasting memories.

The UI has a growing student body as more students from Iowa and across the world are coming to the university. This year, enrollment is over 31,000 students. 

With this large number of students — especially freshman — attending the UI this year, volunteers couldn’t have been more helpful in welcoming new students and helping them through the often stressful moving day.

But volunteer opportunities are not exclusive to just OnIowa. There are many parts of the campus in need of volunteers.

According to the UI Hospital and Clinics Volunteer Services page, more than 100,000 volunteers hours of service are donated annually.

Volunteering not only benefits the community, but it also benefits those who partake in it. Not only can a volunteer help others in need, but it can also be an amazing way to gain experience. The UI should do more to promote volunteer opportunities to students. 

Students may want to find volunteering opportunities but may not know where to look. 

The ForIowa website has a slew of different opportunities for you to choose. From clubs and organizations, to the office of admissions and the various colleges in Iowa city, there is no shortage of chances to aid the UI community.

But not many students know about volunteering opportunities because ForIowa is not easily accessible on the UI website.

To spread the good word of volunteering, the official uiowa.edu website should have a ‘Volunteering’ section to help advertise or link to affiliated websites that contain resources for interested students. 

Volunteering for OnIowa reminded me of how important volunteering is. Volunteering can be a great way to meet those in your community, help others who may not have the same resources or assistance, and have fun working with others. 

Students should seek opportunities to volunteer because it helps their community, gives new perspectives, and shapes new students into young adults.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.