The Transcript has a feel good article on the volunteering activities of Williams students in the local community, including good stuff on Marisa Doran ’05, Matt Piven ’07 and others. It’s Eph-tripe, but nobody loves Eph-tripe more than EphBlog.

However, not to be a cynic or anything, but the opening paragraphs seem suspect:

There are people who believe that college students just play video games, blast their stereos, and party when they are not attending classes or cramming for exams. Although that’s true in some cases, many students spend their free hours in constructive pursuits.
At Williams College, more than 20 percent of the students work as volunteers with community-based organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Berkshire Food Project, and Berkshire Farms Center.

They’re busy, but they make time

More than 20%? Color me skeptical. Are there really more than 400 students who help out at places like Berkshire Farms? If true, that would be amazing.

I suspect that it isn’t really true, that there are many fine and caring students who spend many hours helping out in the local community, but that there are not 400 of them. I wonder where the reporter got that number. I’d wager that it came from someone (Rick Spaulding?) with an interest in praising volunteer work but who included every student who ever expressed a passing interest in Lehman Community Service Council. Or maybe the 400 includes blood donors.

So, how many students do volunteer, say at least 8 hours per semester, to “serve the regional community”? (Giving campus tours, as I did, does not count.) EphBlog wants to know. Perhaps students today are much more generous and involved than they were 20 years ago.

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