Table of contents
ACTION: Day of Service
An IES Day of Service where students participate in hand-on sustainable activities within Barcelona. The day will be mandatory, similar to IES conference days, and involve different voluntary efforts within the community in order to teach students about sustainable living. Such activities could include volunteering at an organic farming community such as Can Masdeu and Can Pasqual in Collserola, cleaning the beach or volunteering at a soup kitchen.
It is common that students often support sustainable efforts but never carry them out. Therefore, it is important that IES dedicates time for its students to practice these sustainable actions. A Day of Service will change student’s attitudes and increase awareness on sustainability. If such projects are carried out each semester and if students adopt some of the sustainable efforts they learn in the Day of Service, it will potentially allow Barcelona and students themselves to decrease their ecological footprint.
1.2.1 Potential Benefits
In the short term, the Day of Service will increase student’s attitudes, awareness and knowledge regarding environmental issues and how to be proactive. It will also link IES students to environmental leaders and organizations within the community.
Mid-term benefits may also include a continued contact between these organizations and IES throughout each semester for those interested in practicing sustainable efforts, volunteering or just for knowledge. Through the Day of Service students may also learn of areas within Barcelona in which they have never experienced.
In the long term, the Day of Service will give IES students a positive reputation within the Barcelona community. As previously mentioned, students may even adopt similar sustainable practices into their own lifestyles. Furthermore, if the day proves to be successful, in the future IES students could be paired up with other university students in UPF, UB and/or UAB in order to make the day more fun and efficient. This would had more people to join each project and allow IES students to interact in a positive way with locals.
1.2.2 Potential Costs
Human resources will be the greatest cost for the day. Both students and staff will need to be fully committed both for planning the day and choosing the best sites as well as during the actual day of service. If the day is treated like a conference day, no additional time will be taken from students or staff. Financially, the day has the ability to cost nothing for IES. However, depending on which project IES decides its students will participate in there could be a cost for materials and/or tools.
In a perfect world this action would be implemented for next semesters IES students. IES needs to schedule the Day of Service into the IES calendar before the semester begins. Once the day is in place, a team of students or the sustainability class needs to investigate sites and projects in which they want IES students to participate in. Once certain activities are chosen IES needs to make contacts with the leader or organization of that site to inform them of our intentions. Once sites are set, IES students need to be divided into groups depending on how many activities have been chosen. The team of students in charge should split themselves up into activities as well so that they can take charge at each site. Once this has been done, the Day of Service can be executed.
1.3.2 Work done so far
The Day of Service action was taken and approved at the student council meeting where they were excited about the idea. It was agreed that the day should be worked in like a conference day where attendance would be mandatory. Some sites that were discussed included a beach cleanup, working at a soup kitchen, working at a dog home or working with little children in American Schools. The student council suggested the day become more of an overall community service type of day. According to last semester’s effort several staff members have already established contacts with local schools and have spoken with me about including a joint day of service with those schools. In order to test the success of the action, the student council first recommended running it only within IES before involving other universities. They noted that it would be vital for Xavi and a team of students or the sustainability class to play a large role in the day.
1.3.3 Real World
In the few weeks remaining, IES needs to plan a day in next semester’s calendar that can be used for an IES Day of Service. Xavi and the sustainability class or student team would then need to begin looking into sites and activities that the future sustainability class or team of students can contact and discuss IES’s mission. After contacts are made, the class or team can decide which activities IES should participate in.
1.4 References and Links
Dawk Hiscock, Student Council Advisor
Fall 2009 Final paper reports of student’s actions:
Agenda 21 Barcelona:
1.5 Students Involved in this action
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