Based Organization Responses
To October 21st Questionnaire on
Governors Proposed Service Requirement
Questions are in italics
General synopsis/executive summary is in bold
Specific comments and quotes in regular print.
Only direct quotes are in quotations. Other comments are summaries.
How many short-term volunteers can your agency realistically
Some agencies answered as to how many general volunteers they
could use. Some answered as to how many college student volunteers
they could use. Average of 96. N=12. Range was 2 to 500.
Is there adequate staffing to screen, orient, train, supervise
and report back on the high volume of community service students
that would likely result from this type of service mandate?
Generally, agencies reported that there was not adequate staffing
to monitor the number and type of student volunteers resulting from
a service mandate. Negative responses totaled 8. Affirmative responses
- No, lack of funding. A full-time staff must oversee program
(like the one proposed.)
- Currently, yes, but funding varies from year to year.
- "No, inadequate staff for training, supervision. Nature
of work could cause potential confidentiality conflicts."
- Currently screen every volunteer, so mechanisms are already
- "No, but that has never stopped us in the past."
- "Not at this time.
need a coordinator of volunteers."
Can you provide academically relevant service assignments while
limiting the amount of clerical duties college students would have
Most agencies stated that they can (and do) provide academically
relevant service opportunities. However, there was concern about
length of service and the staffing needed to develop and supervise
these types of opportunities. Affirmative responses totaled 10.
Negative responses totaled 2.
- No, confidentiality policies limit types of services volunteers
- "Yes. The key would be to match student level of competence
with agency needs."
- Yes, but only with appropriate staffing.
- Depends on the number of students and the length of service.
- Yes, but limited.
Will limiting volunteer opportunities to academically related
activities have an impact on the total number of students you can
place within your agency?
There was a mixed reaction to this question. My subjective appraisal
is that most agencies do not completely understand the many ways
students can gain academically related service experiences that
also facilitate agency operations and goals.
- Yes, limiting opportunities will negatively effect the service
- Yes. Restrictions against clerical duties would limit opportunities.
- Yes. Could place 20 to 30 people (instead of 50) is placements
were limited to academically relevant volunteer work.
- "The bigger barrier is the short service term and the
link to the academic year. If some work could be done over the
break and in summer, a better match could be made."
How would your organization deal with screening of potential
students, including possible requirements such as fingerprinting
or Department of Justice screening?
For those agencies where formal screening (fingerprinting and
DOJ screening) is needed, the increased number of volunteers could
prove to be a significant issue. However, for some this did not
seem to be a critical issue.
- If mandated, processing assistance would be needed.
- "No funds to do this!!"
- Same as now there is a 1 2 month screening process
before volunteers can do anything.
- Students would have to pay for the processing.
- "We do not have the financial resources necessary."
- We would have difficulty financing screening. We would look
for other alternatives.
- Currently do screening and would use same procedures.
What mechanisms are currently or can be put in place to deal
with the many potential risk management and liability issues that
must be addressed?
Again, this seemed to lead to concerns about availability of
staff to adequately screen, train and supervise volunteers. For
some agencies, this is not an issue.
- Would need better orientation and closer supervision (more
- Once they complete current screening process, volunteers are
- All volunteers are covered by the corporate insurance policy.
- "A significant increase in the number of student (volunteers)
would require us to purchase additional coverage which we do not
have the financial resources for."
What type of support would your organization need from Fresno
State in order to adequately manage this potential volunteer pool?
The support local agencies would need all have significant resource
implications for the university. Many of these support mechanisms
are realistic to some degree, however, increased staffing would
- Networked, centralized website of volunteer agencies and their
- "Assurance that the students would be "willing"
to help in a positive manner and would follow through the entire
semester or time period."
- "Well screened volunteers. Basic training in threshold
- "Initial screening of students."
- "Early identification of students electronic applications
fingerprinting. The pool would definitely have to be limited
for our purposes."
- Would need university to provide fingerprinting and DOJ screening
if this was expected of students.
- Student information form. Training modules ongoing.
Supervision of student work.
- "The excellent support that Chris Fiorentino continues
to provide exposure." (His words, not mine! cf)
- Database management.
Overall, are you in favor of the Governors plan to require
student participation in community service?
While there is great support for increasing student
involvement in service, there is little support for a graduation
mandate. Those not in favor of a mandate numbered about 6, with
only 3 fully supporting a mandate.
- "Not in favor. I feel students should choose!"
- "Noble idea, but dont think there will be much of
a long term effect on society at large."
- "The idea is great but the "Mandatory" emphasis
is not conducive to "happy, willing" volunteers."
- "Yes, I recognize the need to develop a strong sense of
community responsibility within the young and old."
- "Yes!!! However, the word "mandate" needs to
- "Yes, it should be voluntary not mandated." (A rather
contradictory response. cf)
- "I like the goal of developing a service mentality in
our youth. I do not think this can be accomplished by mandating
service. I think a statewide campaign encouraging service would
be helpful as well as offering service projects to the K-12 as
well as college age children. More opportunities, better publicity
for voluntary service."
- "We are interested in increased volunteer participation
on the part of CSUF students. However, mandated participation
would require more staff supervision than what we have."
- "I am not in favor (in fact strongly oppose) any
mandated community service for university students. The whole
idea "eats away" at the heart of the service ethic.
I like the Governor and generally support his agenda, but I believe
this is a bad "ivory tower" decision on his part."
- "No Im not in favor."
- "We are in favor, however, the word "mandate"
casts a negative shadow over the term volunteerism. Maybe use
- "I think I like the idea of the "mandate" being
a part of their requirements within each course (major)
mandate the university is what I am trying to say."