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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Student touts volunteering

    Communication junior Cecilia Romero poses in front of McKale Center yesterday afternoon. Romero is organizing a drive to have students serve 10,000 hours of community service.
    Communication junior Cecilia Romero poses in front of McKale Center yesterday afternoon. Romero is organizing a drive to have students serve 10,000 hours of community service.

    The 10,000 Hour Show will launch Wednesday at the Volunteer Fair on the UA Mall, aimed at rewarding students who volunteer for community service with a free concert next semester.

    The UA is the first school in the Pacific 10 Conference and in Arizona to take on the project.

    Students who volunteer for at least 10 hours of community service with any of Tucson’s more than 300 nonprofit organizations will receive a free ticket to the concert, which is scheduled for the end of spring 2008. No acts have been booked yet, said Cecilia Romero, the project’s co-executive director.

    Ultimately, project organizers hope students contribute at least 10,000 hours worth of community service, she said.

    “”It’s trying to get new students to volunteer as well as recognizing those that already do,”” she said. “”The other thing that we’re trying to do is centralize the volunteer system at the UA.””

    Students who volunteer will register an account on the 10,000 Hours Show Web site, when it launches Sept. 26, then log the organization and number of hours they volunteered, which is then verified by the organization, Romero said.

    “”I decided this would be a great way to unify the student body since anyone can get involved, and also to bridge the gap between the UA community and the Tucson community,”” she said.

    Romero said she decided to bring the 10,000 Hour Show to the UA after working alongside one of the program’s founders in 2005. She met Mike Brooks while helping the post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction effort in Louisiana during spring break, she said.

    Brooks co-founded the project at the University of Iowa in 2003, and it has since been picked up by schools such as Iowa State University and Texas Christian University, Romero said.

    “”I think it’s an incredible new initiative that Cecilia and her team are bringing to campus,”” said ASUA President Tommy Bruce. “”I commend them for taking the first steps and putting community service at the forefront of students’ minds.””

    ASUA will be producing the free concert, he said.

    “”We’re helping that aspect as well as student involvement and getting the information out there,”” he said.

    Romero is in the process of looking for corporate sponsors and other donations for the cost of the show, as well as for marketing and other costs, she said.

    “”Putting on a free concert is really expensive,”” Bruce said.

    In addition to the concert, Romero said that other incentives will be offered each semester and each month. For instance, the student who volunteers the most hours this semester will get a two-person, one-night gift certificate to stay at the Westin La Paloma Resort, she said. Other prizes include video games and gift cards.

    The fraternity, sorority or dorm that logs the most hours collectively will be rewarded with a catered event at the end of the semester, Romero said.

    “”Obviously non-profits need money, but it’s the volunteers that keep them going,”” she said. “”Each volunteer hour is worth $18.77, that’s a national figure. If 1,000 students volunteer 10 hours, that means that we’ve generated over $170,000 worth of service.””

    Chad Lewis, a psychology senior, was active in his church in high school but has not volunteered since then, he said.

    Lewis said he might get more involved again, depending on which organizations would count toward the volunteer hours.

    “”The idea of a free concert definitely sounds pretty cool,”” he said.

    Any student interested in the program can e-mail Romero at for more information.

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