It has been said by many in the past that the youth are the ones who have the most power to create change in this world. When it comes to poverty and hunger, many of us students are extremely uneducated, failing to see what is right in front of our eyes. As students of Longwood University, we are told from the first day of orientation that Longwood is going to provide us with the tools and skills to become productive citizen leaders, promoting change and growth in this world. While many of us students will not call Farmville home forever, four years of our lives are spent living, working, learning, and loving in this place. It is important to want to make a difference in this town and make it a better place for the next generation of students and residents of Farmville. So how can we do that? What changes and impacts can we make right now while we are still in school?
Although over four thousand students call Farmville home, it is merely a temporary one, a stepping stone from which to jump to other perhaps larger places throughout our country. Many Longwood University students are extremely likely to get a job within just six months of graduation, and most will probably go on to live decently comfortable lives. While not every student of Longwood can say that they live a completely privileged life, the majority of them can say that their living situation in Farmville is not an impoverished one. But what about the more permanent residents of Farmville? With Longwood being such a large, successful, and influential entity in Farmville, it’s hard for many to notice the real economic hardships this town is weathering just beneath the surface. So how can we as students get educated about hunger and poverty in this town, and what can we do to help?
The U.S Census Bureau estimates that as of 2010, the poverty rate in Farmville was around 34% and growing. With a population of a little over eight thousand, that percentage is not something to be taken lightly. Several small businesses have been put under due to an increase of chain restaurants and businesses such as Wal-Mart. Many residents in just the past four years have seen businesses come and go, or have heard rumors of restaurants that later decided not to settle down in Farmville.
I propose that a campus wide student run charity organization be started. It’s fairly easy to start a “club” on campus; all you need are enough people showing interest in membership and a faculty advisor. This organization would use many different mediums to appeal to all of the different facets of students that populate Longwood’s campus in order to give back to the Farmville community and take real action against hunger and poverty in this town.
While many aspects of Longwood are self-contained, it depends on the town of Farmville as much as the town of Farmville depends on Longwood. Without participation from local businesses and organizations, many of Longwood’s events and activities wouldn’t even exist. If the economy in Farmville fails, it affects Longwood gravely. No matter how good a school may be, no parent wants to send their child to a school in a ghost town. As future citizen leaders, we as students should make it our responsibility to become educated about families and individuals in need here in Farmville.
The on campus organization that I am proposing will take on many responsibilities at Longwood. Its mission first and foremost will be to educate fellow students about hunger and poverty in Farmville. A website, Facebook page, and weekly blog will be created, frequently posting facts and figures about hunger in Farmville. Events will be held where guest speakers will talk to students about the economy in Farmville and propose ways that we can help. The organization will not only educate, however, it will also make plans to actually make a difference in this town and help as many people as possible. By working with varying departments/organizations on campus such as the theatre, music/radio, science, and math, they will organize different events that will appeal to all types of students. These events will not necessarily have to be centered around hunger or poverty, but will ideally charge a small admission fee that will later be donated to FACES or other local charities. At each event, there will be a booth set up to receive more information about hunger in Farmville, ways to help, and an opportunity to donate food, money, or other goods.
The purpose of this organization will be both to inform and to persuade. By providing students with adequate education on the subject of hunger and by showing students easy and accessible ways to get involved, I hope to persuade students from all majors and walks of life to join.
Constraints (Ethos and Logos)
The ethos of this organization will be proven through the presentation of information. Well designed posters, flyers, and websites will make the organization appear legitimate and not slapped together last minute. By calling in local politicians and people who have conducted studies on this issue, students will be more likely to listen than if another student simply got up and started talking. Logos will be used to educate fellow students. The basis of this organization is education, so facts and figures will be extremely necessary to communicate with others. A well informed and planned out combination of logos and ethos is the key to drawing attention to this very important local issue.
While this organization is simply in a hypothetical stage, it could easily be accomplished if enough students were willing to act. The key to creating change is to first be informed, and with this proposal I would hope to inform the students of Longwood about the community that surrounds us. It is important for us to try to make our temporary home a better place for not only Longwood, but for the entire population of Farmville.
“U.S Census Bureau” American FactFinder. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2013. .
“U.S Census Bureau .” American FactFinder. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2013. .
“Longwood University- Farmville, Virginia: Details, Students, Expenses.”Www.findthebest.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2013. .