UC Riverside undergraduate students volunteer an average of 3.5 hours per week, making it the highest rate among the ten UC campuses (average of 2.7 hours per week) according to data released by the UC Undergraduate Experiences Survey (UCUES).  The amount of volunteers among the UC Riverside student population also stands out as exceptional; compared to a system-wide average of 51 percent, approximately 57 percent of UC Riverside students served as volunteers in both community service and participation.
“These numbers are even more remarkable given that UCR undergraduates generally do not come from affluence and have competing work obligations,” stated James Sandoval, vice chancellor for student affairs. “Our students understand the sacrifices their families and communities have made to get them here, and they are committed to giving back to the community,” stated Sandoval in an article by the UC Riverside Newsroom.
“UCR students’ commitment to community service is a reflection of our students’ efforts to positively impact the Inland Valley community as well as their urge to serve the mission of the University. It’s awesome to see our students being recognized for their efforts as they also learn, grow, and attribute to their own health and well-being,” stated the Well Peer Education and Community Service Assistant Oronne C. Wami, who regularly convenes with student organizations who are interested in advocating various causes throughout the community.
Ongoing community projects in which UC Riverside students find themselves include Habitat for Humanity’s “Helping Hands” project, Josh and Friends, the City of Hope Foundation by Delta Tau Delta, the Grow Arlanza event sponsored by the Child Leader Project and the Student Homeless Aid Relief Project (SHARP). “It’s great that so many UCR students are conscious of the campus as part of the surrounding community rather than separate from it, and that their actions reflect this. I hope the university will continue to foster this kind of involvement and that faculty, staff, and students use this as an opportunity to increase and improve community engagement. There’s always more we can do!” said Rebecca Spence of the Undergraduate Research in the Community office.
Students at UC Riverside were recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for volunteering more than 2.5 million hours during 2010. The Honor Roll praised UC Riverside on the following service projects: the ALPHA Center, Undergraduate Research in the Community, Early Academic Outreach Program, GEAR UP, University Eastside Community Collaborative and TRIO.
“I made the observation that UCR was once known as a college of agricultural expertise and innovation. However, UCR has made a notable transition over the last decade…we are no longer recognized across the nation as a college of agricultural ingenuity, but as an institution of philanthropy,” stated UCR alumni and founder of Student United Way, Cassi Algazi. “I can think of no greater reward than to know that you have helped, changed, or even saved another person’s life by simply vowing to make a difference….aside only from the honor of knowing you did not do it alone, but stood with courage alongside your fellow peers.”