December 8, 2012

Personal Service extends beyond the walls of the Mayville State campus

December 8, 2012

It is no secret that at Mayville State University, "the school of personal service," our greatest asset is our people. There is the obvious asset of faculty and staff who are encouraged to go above and beyond in their service to students. But there is another aspect of personal service that goes beyond the walls of the university, and that is the service of our students in the community. You don't have to look very far to find students who are sharing their time and talents for the benefit of others.

Members of athletic teams are often called upon to help with yard work and heavy lifting. There are students who read to pre-school and school-aged children. The women's basketball team recently held a toy drive to benefit needy children in the area. The Student Education Association has done a number of activities to benefit those in need, including school teachers and children affected by the devastating historic flood in Minot. That group has also assisted the local food pantry by painting at the facility. Student groups quite often collect food and non-perishable items for the food pantry, and cash donations taken in at a recent contortionist/comedian performance on campus were used to support the Delchar Theater. Student clubs and organizations sponsor a Halloween party for area children each year. The Student Alumni Ambassadors will be starting up a monthly game night at the Sun Center in January. Campus Crusade recently filled shoe boxes with items that will be distributed to children in need all around the world. The community's traditional Angel Tree project has now branched out to the Mayville State campus. The list could go on and on.

Another entity that is the recipient of Mayville State student involvement is the Mayville Volunteer Fire Department. Currently, four MSU students are members of the department. Firefighter Tim Nordby, Canyon Lake, Calif., is vice president of the Mayville Fire Department; and Jesse Sheard, El Cajon, Calif.; Evan Johnson, Nampa, Idaho; and Jon Raywalt, Mayville; are all firefighters. Since Mayville's is a volunteer department, all members are serving out of the goodness of their hearts for the benefit of the entire community.

As members of the department, the Mayville State students attend business meetings on the second Monday of every month. In addition to regular meetings, firefighters spend time training and honing skills that will keep them up-to-date with industry standards. They respond to all 911 calls ranging from structure and brush fires to rescues and ambulance assistance. The firefighters are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and answer to a pager system that sends out the call when they are needed.

Beyond the hands-on firefighting and rescue duties, members of the department routinely visit the elementary school to educate young people on the danger of fire and to teach them what to do in emergency situations. They also volunteer their time for multiple fire department fundraisers held throughout the year.

Funding the needs of a volunteer fire department is very important, and another group of Mayville State students will be helping with that at an upcoming event. The Mayville State University Residence Hall Association is sponsoring a fundraiser that will benefit the Mayville Fire Department. On Monday, December 10, beginning at 5:30 p.m., the public is invited to stop by Videos Plus Pizza & Subs in downtown Mayville and purchase pizza slices for $2.00 each. After eating, those who attend may enjoy a friendly game of bean bag toss. For $.50, you'll be able to throw four bean bags and have a chance to win candy prizes. One hundred percent of the funds raised in this event will go directly to the Mayville Fire Department. I encourage all members of the community to come out and support the students in their effort to support the fire department. For more information, call 701-788-4822.

When our forefathers established Mayville State as "the school of personal service," they certainly had much more in mind than the service of faculty and staff to the students. It was their intent that students would be mentored by the service shown them and pay it forward, not only in the Mayville-Portland community during their time as students, but also in the communities where they live and work when they graduate from Mayville State. I commend the many Mayville State students, faculty, and staff members who volunteer their time for the benefit of others. Community is important, and we are proud of all that you do to improve the places in which we live and work. Thank you!