The Honors Student Association (HSA) provides its members with social and service opportunities aimed toward building its members' characters and fostering a commitment to lifelong learning. Paralleling the goals of West Chester University's Honors College, HSA prepares students to become forces for positive change in both the campus and broader community with focus on leadership, academia, and service.
Thanks to all of the HSA members who completed a combined 2,860 hours of community service this past year!
In recognition, HSA received the Community Service Leadership Award for 2014-2015.
Throughout the year, HSA offers its members opportunities to volunteer many hours of service on campus, in the local West Chester community, and surrounding areas. Community service is at the tenets of HSA because HSA's members believe being able to focus time and attention on someone else's needs not only sets a foundation for leadership ability but parallels one's character. As Dr. Dorothy Height, a great civil and women's rights activist once said, "without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop." Some projects and events they participate in includes Adopt-a-Block, food drives, Fall Clean-up at the Hickman, various needs at the Friends Association, service trips abroad, American Red Cross Blood Drives, WCU Banana Day, and fundraising runs on campus such as the Bringing Hope Home Halloween 5k.
HSA provides students with opportunities to put leadership into practice. The organization offers upwards of twenty-five formal leadership positions, including executive-leadership roles and committee positions. Through entirely student-planned social events, service efforts, and meetings HSA allows members to utilize hallmarks of leadership, including creativity, delegation, communication, and team building. Additionally, leadership development is encouraged throughout the organization through programming aimed at developing more engaged and active leaders and citizens.
While service and leadership inspire much of the programming of HSA, a passion for celebrating and promoting academia remains a common thread throughout the organization. HSA organizes events such as the Outstanding Faculty Reception, which recognizes faculty members who students have identified as providing excellence in the classroom. Additionally, HSA has worked to partner student-to-faculty research partnerships, most recently resulting in the publication of project contributed to by HSA's Erin Yentz related to the Literacy and Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania.