The level of interest in the University of Otago's new
volunteer centre is more evidence of a resurgence in
volunteering among younger people.
Otago University Volunteer Centre co-ordinator Sze-En Lau
said about 300 people had signed up to be apart of UniCrew -
which links students with volunteer groups - since it
launched at the start of O-Week.
University of Otago Volunteer Centre co-ordinator Sze-En
Lau is ''stoked'' at the level of interest in volunteering
among students. Photo by Craig Baxter.
''I'm stoked. It's just one week in and I am just so
buoyed by the response we have had from students,'' Ms Lau
The level of interest came amid a resurgence in student
volunteering, which was given a boost by the Student
Volunteer Army helping out following the Christchurch
''I think the group up in Christchurch set such a great
example of what young people can achieve and that it can be
student-led,'' she said.
Part of the volunteer centre's vision was to make
volunteering ''part of mainstream university
culture''Students who became a part of UniCrew could
volunteer in a range of ways.
''I'm really interested in finding ... more and more ways for
students to engage in volunteering.''
That would include traditional volunteer jobs, such as
collecting money at street corners and helping at SPCA, and
also newer types of volunteering''There is a rise in
e-volunteering where you just do it at home in your
This could mean writing an online newsletter from the comfort
of your flat.
She encouraged anyone thinking about it to get involved and
''It gives you a new perspective on yourself, on your
community and it does help you build those skills ... and
they are really going to be valuable for you, not only while
you are at university, but also afterwards.''
It also made you feel good.
''It seems really corny, but you do get the warm and fuzzies.
It's unavoidable, they will get you.''
Over the next couple of weeks Ms Lau would be putting out the
invitation to community organisations, so they could
advertise vacancies through the UniCrew database.