One of the important features of working with Business 200 is that the volunteer sites must comply with the UST Mission. A question which many of us facilitators are asked is “why does it have to be this way, isn’t it just service hours and then some journals and I’m done?” This is a question that has taken much reflection and research into the diction of what the UST Mission truly means.
The mission statement of the University of Saint Thomas reads, “Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.” Now if broken up this has many different parts that are all substantial to the development both of the individual and of the school as we all move forward as students at UST.
For starters, “Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition,” tell us that the non-profits we show support to should be in line with Catholic intellectual tradition. This does not mean that the non-profits have to be Catholic themselves but that they should follow Catholic teachings such as being inclusive in its entirety. It is for reasons such as this that we do not allow volunteers to clock in hours at organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, who do not allow homosexual troop leaders as part of their organization. By not being entirely inclusive the Boy Scouts of America does not follow Catholic intellectual tradition and is therefore ineligible.
Next, “the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.” This section of the mission statement applies more to the learning objectives all Business 200 students fill out for their first journal entries. Although any service is welcome, to complete Business 200 a student should review their professional and career goals. By finding a service site that will inspire the student to “think critically, act wisely and work skillfully” the student is building up skills that will hopefully help them in the future.
While every student is entitled to his or her own interpretation of whether they accept the UST Mission or not, it is important to correlate it to the Mission of the service sites in order to engulf the students in an inclusive environment that will give them the opportunity to grow and succeed.
By: Dylan Bakken-Facilitator