The Path to Public Service at SEAS
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Through Phillips Brooks House comes an appeal for more volunteers to do social service work. This form of extracurricular activity has been going on for many years unnoticed by a large majority of graduates and undergraduates. The time requirements are only two hours a week. Many men do not understand the main motives behind it.
In Boston and Cambridge there are some 25 settlement houses doing work among the poor. Each house has between 1000 and 3000 members. The settlement house is a neighborhood club for the entire family, and conducts activities for all ages.
The question arising in most people's minds when told of the great work done by these houses is: if they do such fine work, why is there a call for volunteers? Volunteer workers are needed for the simple reason that they are the mainstay of many of these houses. In each house there is a paid staff, but their number is inadequate to cope with the great number of people who belong to the house. The head-workers provide the organization; they require the services of volunteers to carry on the real work of the house.
The Harvard volunteer is given the position for which he believe himself best fitted. The athlete has a definite place coaching boxing, wrestling, tumbling, and basketball. Those otherwise inclined can lead science groups, hobby clubs (stamps, nature, music), and manual training classes, as well as debating and dramatics.
Of more value even than the intrinsic subject of the group, the leader of a boys' club teaches self-control and good sportsmanship.
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