Q: Why is there an education session requirement?
A: Badger Volunteers Education Sessions are meant to broaden volunteers’ understanding of the context and purpose of service in the core areas of the Badger Volunteers Program: education, sustainability, and public health. We hope to expand volunteers’ concepts of public service, empowering them with immediate tools to better their communities, or inspiring them to dedicate themselves and their education to an issue.
Q: How do I attend an internal education session?
A: Please RSVP through your Volunteer Dashboard to sign up for notifications and reminders about the ed session. We will have a sign-in sheet at the ed session in order to track your attendance.
Q: I need to cancel my RSVP for an internal ed session! What should I do?
A: The short answer is: nothing! The long answer is: your RSVP helps us, but we will not use it to track your attendance.
Q: I am not a Badger Volunteer. May I still go to BV education sessions?
A: Yes! Please RSVP through the University’s Events Calendar (today.wisc.edu).
Q: How do I get credit for attending an external education session?
A: Whether you attended the event independently or found it on the Volunteer Dashboard, we track external ed session attendance through the submission of written reflections. Please email your reflection to the BV Educational Programming Intern (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: How can I make sure an independent event will count for my Badger Volunteers education session?
A: Feel free to send a description of the event to the BV Educational Programming Intern (email@example.com).
Q: How do I write an external education session reflection?
A: Please focus your reflection on your own experience and growth, rather than on the actual content of the ed session. You may use the following questions and examples to guide your reflection.
External Ed Session Reflection Guide
- Where did you go? What did you learn? What takeaways would you share with other Badger Volunteers?
- How was the ed session related to public service, more broadly, or to the focus areas of Badger Volunteers (education, public health, sustainability)?
- How might this ed session affect you and your volunteering in the future?
Sample Reflection 1
For my external education session, I streamed the lecture on Evicted in November with my Badger Volunteers team. I found Matthew Desmond’s lecture on Evicted to be very insightful especially since he focused on the reality of Milwaukee, the area I am from. I had no idea of the complexity that surrounds cases of eviction. Desmond’s talk presented new perspectives through which to examine the eviction process that I had not been exposed to before. There are so many steps along the way of this process that can go wrong and magnify the misfortune that some individuals fall into when they are experiencing a hard time in their life.
I volunteered at Goodman Community Center this semester where I worked with children from a diverse array of socioeconomic backgrounds. I know their after-school program I helped out with is considered very valuable to the children and their parents because of positive experiences it brings. However, after watching the lecture on Evicted, I found myself considering how valuable the after-school program could be to families in the Madison community from an economic perspective. The program is completely free to the families of the children who participate in it. In this way, Goodman is helping providing a resource to the community which can help them save money on childcare they would have to invest in due to the variability of work schedules, and possibly even tutoring that is provided from the teachers staffed and volunteers. I truly hope Goodman’s after-school program is as valuable to the families of the children it serves as it was to me.
Sample Reflection 2
Dr. Matthew Desmond proposed a significant shift in the paradigm in which we view housing and its necessity to enable “human flourishing,” a concept which goes a long way in determining how it is we ought to treat others: housing should be a right. And, luckily and happily, this can come at a relatively cheap price. $22 billion dollars per annum for a housing entitlement program is massively cheap and we should consider it a failure for us not to have considered this higher on the political agenda than it is.
Another way in which the paradigm should change, as Desmond pointed out, is the view we have of our relative poverty, both compared to how it ought to be and how it is. Our nation does not seem so bad, as it turns out; America is not at an Indian- or Russian-level of desperation. However, despite the massive growth in production and wealth in our nation, we cannot provide for minimum subsistence in regards to housing our brothers and sisters when we can many times over — we instead choose to devote attention to many other red herrings of concern, orders of magnitude less threatening to our well-being.
Desmond quotes The Other America, in which Michael Harrington challenges its readers to consider what they want for their nation as a community with its overarching concerns. In his speech, he also challenged students to consider what kind of housing environment they want to see themselves stepping into within the near future. That is when our sense of civic duty should come into play when we engage in our roles as voters, activists, and volunteers: be change agents and coalesce to bring about these paradigm shifts.