Service Learning During the Pandemic: Implementing NYMU’s School Anthem

2021-12-03

Photo provided by Dr. Wei-Ming Chen

The New Taipei City Wanli Beach Dingliao Beach cleaning activity co-organized with the Taiwan Environmental Information Association in December 2018 (Photo provided by the Assistant Team of Yangming Campus)

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, National Yang-Ming University (NYMU; which merged with National Chiao Tung University and became National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University [NYCU] in February 1, 2021) greatly reduced its off-campus services offered as part of its service-learning courses. In 2021, many social welfare organizations such as orphanages also halted the involvement of student services. Therefore, in the spring semester of 2021, the Extracurricular Activities Section of the Office of Student Affairs, Yang Ming Campus, NYCU (hereinafter refers to as the EAS) established the Project for Implementing NYCU’s School Anthem in the service-learning courses. In this project, which began in late March, students were encouraged to draw on the NYMU school spirit.

The EAS stated that a critical feature of the courses was the integration of service-learning and mentoring. The purpose was to allow students to use what they had learned to plan social service provision to those in need or address campus problems under the guidance of the mentors in each department. The students explored the needs of the people they serve and strive to assist them through appropriate services. The observations and reflections during the service process and the personal and group feedback shared afterward indicated that the service-learning courses assisted students in achieving personal growth and learning effectiveness.

The mentor-student service-learning conducted in the past, including mentor–student groups of freshmen and sophomores, comprised over 130 group activities in which approximately 800 students participated. The service models included serving the department, university, and society, with diverse projects implemented for providing services to care for older adults and people with physical or mental disabilities, assist elementary school students in their school work, and preserve the environment and ecology.

In 2020, as a result of the pandemic, service-learning was largely limited to on-campus activities. In the spring semester of 2021, the EAS adopted a focus on the school anthem of NYMU and planned the Project for Implementing NYMU’s School Anthem. The EAS transformed the singing of the school anthem into concrete activities, providing an opportunity for students to more profoundly experience the meaning of the anthem and the NYMU school spirit. After NYMU was merged with National Chiao Tung University, these activities served to evoke the meaningful NYMU traditions and infuse them with the new values and traditions of NYCU.

The Project for Implementing NYMU’s School Anthem consisted of a series of activities, namely (1) visiting Wuchien mountain range, (2) identifying the flora and ecology of Qilian, (3) hiking at Battleship Rock in the Traceless Forest, (4) participating in the Divine Husbandman Slope Charity Sale, and (5) preserving the oral history of NYMU. These activities involved mountain trekking, ecological mapping and recording, and environmental cleaning as well as plant identification, charity sale participation in support of social welfare organizations, and memory and story collection about NYMU. According to the EAS, registrations for the first three activities reached full capacity. However, students who did not register in time were still welcome to participate. The last two activities were scheduled to be held between May and June and April and July. For more information, please visit the EAS website: https://ead.ym.edu.tw/files/15-1204-46307,c206-1.php

In addition to the Project for Implementing NYMU’s School Anthem, in the spring semester of 2021, the EAS also cooperated with organizations such as the Taiwan Guide Dog Association, Association for the Promotion of Autistic Adaptation, Sports, and Leisure of the Republic of China, Taiwan Fund for Children and Families,  North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area, and Eden Daycare Center and planned services for the disadvantaged and for children and adolescents. The EAS also organized activities such as beach cleaning, marine waste monitoring, and older adult service projects as part of the mentor-student service-learning course. For more information, please visit the EAS website: https://ead.ym.edu.tw/files/15-1204-46307,c206-1.php

 

Link: https://enews.ym.edu.tw/w/ymnews437/focus_21031008563444904

 

 

 

 

News

Let the “heart” take a breath – What is Mental Health Day? How to Establish a Campus that is More Friendly, and Supportive of Mental Health

Recently, universities and colleges have been increasingly recognizing the importance of addressing students’ mental and psychological well-being. They are gradually implementing initiatives to promote mental health days, with the expectation that these days will allow students to focus on their emotional well-being. The goal is to help them understand how

SDGs:
3
4