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Is Philanthropy at Point Park on the Rise?

By Zoe Esperseth, Point Park News Service

Charity opportunities are constantly available, and about 25 percent of the U.S adult population participates in charitable causes. Although younger adults, ages 20-24, make up the lowest percentage of volunteers, Point Park students aren’t letting that statistic deter them.

Point Park University has 62 clubs and organizations available to students, according to the University’s student organization page.

These clubs are all founded and run by Point Park students and are not required to run any charitable events but are left to their own discretion. One Point Park organization, Pay It Forward, is a club that focuses on community service and philanthropy.

According to Rachel Phillips, assistant coordinator of student involvement at Point Park University, more individuals have become interested in philanthropy.

“There’s been a lull in past years, but interest has been picking up,” Phillips said.

Phillips accredits this renewed interest with incoming students having a charitable mindset when they begin their student career at Point Park.

Instead of clubs and organizations each participating in their own philanthropic interests, Phillips said that students are more likely to reach out and aid other charitable causes.

“Honor students run the Pink Feet event to benefit breast cancer research in October. Many other groups pitch in to help out,” Phillips said.

Margaret Davis, a senior creative writing major at Point Park, has been in multiple clubs throughout her time at the university. Davis believes that student clubs and organizations should not be required by the university to hold charitable projects.

“I think clubs and the students running them already have enough on their plate as it is. I think a lot of clubs are already doing fundraisers for themselves because they’re not getting all the funding they need to operate how they would like to,” Davis said.

Point Park University encourages students to participate in philanthropy by making opportunities known through social media, promotions and online newsletters, such as the Social Scoop. But Davis believes that the University could do more to encourage students to give back to the community.

“I think Point Park could benefit from fostering a culture where students feel able and supported and encouraged enough to organize for the benefit of others, but only if the university itself is supporting those efforts. For example, if the university matched student/fundraising efforts dollar for dollar,” Davis said.

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