Community Service

WCU Staff Senate has been a leader in service for many years. Our dedication and desire to do more for our campus community and the surrounding communities through service is a major initiative of ours every year. Staff Senate service activities have continuously increased as has the need for organization and promotion of volunteer opportunities. We believe that consistent community service provides more opportunities for employees to share information about WCU to the community, build rapport, and cultivate sustainable partnerships.

For this AY, Staff Senate has designated Celebrate and Increase Local and Regional Impact as one of our initiatives. Staff Senate has worked extremely hard to enact and organize community service initiatives. Through partnerships with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL), the Division of Advancement, and other campus partners, along with Senate’s creation of a dedicated community service chair, we have seen the tracking and overall adoption of service as a means of engagement increase. We believe that we can grow these efforts and support a more robust and comprehensive approach to community engagement.

We also believe Staff Senate is uniquely positioned to work campus-wide to track and celebrate the impact of the WCU community engagement within our region. To this end, our initiatives for the upcoming year include: Expand the Staff Senate community service initiative to include concerted efforts with Faculty Senate and SGA. In collaboration with CCESL and WCU Human Resources – develop system to track and report on comprehensive WCU impact related to community service. Additional internal stakeholders could also include WCU economic development leaders. Identify new and expand existing partnerships within the Jackson Co / WNC community.

What is Community Service?
Community service can be described as unpaid work performed by a person or group of people for the benefit and betterment of their community without any form of compensation. Community service can be distinct from volunteering, since it is not always performed on a voluntary basis and may be compulsory per situation. Although personal benefits may be realized, it may be performed for a variety of reasons including citizenship requirements, a substitution of criminal justice sanctions, requirements of a school or class, and requisites for the receipt of certain benefits. 

Many institutions require and/or give incentive to students or employees alike to volunteer their time to community service programs. From volunteering to participating in such charity events like walks or runs, institutes continue the practice or require their employees or students to grow in camaraderie while giving back to various communities. Many institutions also provide opportunities for employees and students to work together, and most student groups participate in their own form of community service. Each is unique in its own right; all are incredibly popular with employees; and in all of these programs, human resources plays an integral role.* 

WCU provides Community Service Leave to eligible employees as described in the following section. 

*”Community Service”. Retrieved October 14, 2020. 

What is Community Service Leave?
Community Service Leave shall be available to all eligible SPA and EPA employees (permanent full-time and part-time employees with the latter being prorated) to encourage volunteerism in support of North Carolina’s schools, communities, citizens and non-profit organizations. This policy replaces and is in lieu of all previously established leave programs for child development and community involvement. 

An eligible employee shall be awarded twenty-four (24) hours of Community Service Leave annually which may be used for volunteer participation in the programs, services and organizations indicated below, or they may elect to receive an award equivalent to one (1) hour each week that a public school is in session. The latter award is to be used exclusively for mentoring or tutoring students in North Carolina schools. 

More information can be found on the following resources:

Community Service Liaison

The Community Service Liaison officer position was created in AY2018-19 with objectives to: 

  • Encourage and facilitate opportunities for all WCU employees to engage in community service. 
  • Collaborate with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning to identify and connect with new and existing community partnerships. 
  • Represent Staff Senate and WCU by engaging with and serving the local community in areas of need. 
  • Fill a need within the community, especially in the summer, when many students and faculty are on break. 
  • For Staff Senators to work together as a team and gain leadership and team-building skills. 

Jenn Lohse ( is the representative for AY2023-24. Please reach out with any questions or ideas of opportunities you would like the Staff Senate to engage in. 

Opportunities to Serve

Roadside Clean up! 

Come join us on Wednesday, October 18th from 3-5 PM for our roadside cleanup.  You can sign up here.

Reporting My Hours

Staff Senate creates an annual goal each year for volunteer hours. This year we hope to reach 500 hours served.  

 Please report your hours using the form at the top of this page!