An Introduction to Rotaract: a Club for Service

by William F. Rodebaugh III

Students who enjoy engaging in community service and helping other people: Rotaract is for you. There is a philosophy for Manor that states, “Service above self,” and that is evident here. For those who enjoy being social and meeting other people, Rotaract provides opportunities to network with other members.

Rotaract started up in 1968. It was established as an inspiration for young leaders to “take action” to make their country better. Even though the world and the interactions of students has changed, the underlying values, and the elements that attract people to it have not.

Rotaract has been successful in raising money and awareness for different causes. For instance, campaigns were launched for international humanitarian causes like lupus. The leader of this club is Mary Sims, who teaches law and criminal justice courses at Manor. Sims says she enjoys “giving service to the community along with the Rotaract clubs.”

Sims explains why she decided to start up Rotaract at Manor.  “I was actually brought in with Norma Hall to start it up with her. I like to work with students on projects and community events.”

Rotaract Mingle Event

In this club the students make up the officers. Presently FA18-SP19 are: Mariah Hardmon as President, William Rodebaugh as VP, Meg Davis as secretary, and the Treasurer is Cindy Windfelder. On April 2nd, new members will take these roles.  The new officers for FA19-SP20 will be William Rodebaugh as President, Mariah Hardmon as VP, Ashley McDermott as secretary, and Meg Davis as Treasurer.

Currently Rotaract has a small membership (about 10 to 12 active members) on campus. There is hope that, in the coming semesters, Rotaract will change and expand in the future. “I’d like to see more students involved in it; we’d like to get more students into the club and the service projects like NORC and working with the Sponsoring Rotary Clubs, Jenkintown and Northeast Philly.  Also, more students coming to service events to make connections and meet people.”

Sims explains that changes to the club may help improve participation. “We don’t have to have too many meetings because of the events we do and students’ work and school schedules. I think the people who are in it like doing it and being involved in it. I would also like to see more people go to the RYLA conference in the Summer; it is funded by our Sponsoring Rotaries and gives students a chance to meet people in Washington, DC from all over the world.”

Spring has seen exciting events for the Manor College Rotaract. The spaghetti supper was on March 28th, the Justice Conference was on April 2nd, the Civil Rights Presentation was on April 4th, and the Pancake Breakfast was on April 6th. The club will also have an end-of-semester party the week before finals.

”I think that Manor has a lot of good clubs on campus, and I am the advisor of two of them. I think it helps students get out of the classroom environment and meet others and make a difference in the world by making a difference in our community. Whether it’s with NORC or other groups like the Covenant House, we really can do a lot when we do it together with others,” says Sims.

If this program interests anyone, feel free to Email Mary Sims at msims@manor.edu.

Sources

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotaract-through-decades

https://manor.edu/student-life/student-engagement/student-clubs-organizations-2/service-clubs/

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