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Monday, November 19, 2018

Columns

UH students have an obligation to volunteer in the Third Ward


Many students at the University of Houston are quick to claim the Third Ward as their own for a myriad of reasons.

Some are proud of the historic black heritage that the community has. Some think that it makes them look tough for going to school located in a neighborhood with an intersection ranked fifteenth most violent in the country.

The truth is, most students don’t have anything more to do with the Third Ward other than happening to go to school in it. Even still, most don’t live in the Third, they either live on campus or commute from someplace else in Houston.

The Third only gets claimed or repped when it’s convenient for the majority of UH students. The worst part is, even with organizations like Metropolitan Student Association, not enough students give their time back to the community that their school is in.

This week, that can change.

On Saturday, the University Center for Student Involvement is having the Martin Luther King day of service to directly give back to the neighborhoods around UH.

There are plenty of service opportunities to get involved in throughout the Third Ward. The Third Ward happens to exist in a food desert, an area where there is not easily accessible food or even a high amount of grocery stores. Campus organizations like the Food Recovery Network strive to share UH resources and food that would typically go to waste and put them back into the community.

If volunteering to help alleviate the burden of food deserts isn’t your speed, there are houses in the Third Ward that need your help getting built and painted. There are vegetable gardens that need sowing and tending. There is something for every pair of hands to do in this neighborhood.

As Cougars, service to the Third Ward and those who live within it is an obligation that we must uphold and carry out as a school.

The Martin Luther King day of service registration is a good place to begin giving back. Students can sign up at http://www.uh.edu/mlk/students.html.

Other school organizations to volunteer with are the Metropolitan Volunteer Program as well as major-specific organizations.

Go and be someone in this community.

Thom Dwyer is the opinion editor at The Cougar. He can be reached at [email protected]

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