The Associated Students of the University of Nevada and the Center for Student Engagement have launched a new way for students and faculty to get involved and make an impact on the Reno community through GivePulse. GivePulse is a civic engagement platform that provides tools for listing, finding and coordinating volunteer opportunities in the community.
After a year of working with the UNR Disability Resource Center to make sure GivePulse is accessible to all, ASUN officially launched the website this July, said ASUN President Brandon Boone.
GivePulse is now being used by more than 1,800 students and faculty at UNR.
“It’s your one stop shop for all things volunteer related” said Stephanie Chen, the university’s coordinator for civic engagement and special events.
GivePulse is a community of volunteers, professionals, civic leaders and students all connected online through the platform. It allows individuals to search and register with local events, groups and causes. Users are also able to track their impact on the local community.
As a land grant university, UNR has prioritized the relationship between the school and the community , within the last couple of years, the Campus to City Initiative has become a major focus of ASUN, said Boone.
GivePulse provides a platform for faculty, students and community groups to connect on a larger scale.
Chen said that before introducing GivePulse, the process of coordinating civic engagement events and volunteer opportunities was time consuming and tedious. After years of working through inefficient emails and Google calendars, GivePulse allows groups to easily organize volunteer and event information. The app makes it possible for students and faculty to focus on an important aspect of civic engagement: making an impact.
Raul Rodriguez, ASUN coordinator of technology said that GivePulse collects data from users and events to track “impacts” in the local community. GivePulse defines these impacts as a “collection of outputs to make sense of the community outcomes.” These outputs include service hours, reflections, star ratings, custom fields and metrics such as pounds of food donated, number of trees planted and number of patients treated.
Since the beginning of the summer, UNR has made over 445 “impacts” in the local community, completing over 1,600 hours of service in the community, and this is just the beginning.
ASUN President Brandon Boone challenged each one of the incoming freshman to complete 100 hours of community service each year they are at the university.
Not only does this platform collect and track these impacts and hours, it provides students with an easy way to getting started building a co-curricular transcript, something that has become essential to get into graduate schools and eventually careers, said both Boone and Rodriguez.
“GivePulse is awesome because it gives students opportunities outside of the classroom that they wouldn’t have had before,” said Boone. “Students that are more engaged on campus and in the community are more successful overall”.
To join GivePulse, students and faculty can go to unr.givepulse.com and sign up with their NetID to build a profile. Students are able to join different groups, clubs and classes on campus and can start making an impact in their community right away.
Emily Fisher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.