Badger Volunteers is Wisconsin Idea in action

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There are a lot of important contributions to our world for which the University of Wisconsin-Madison is responsible that tend to get lost in the political policy debates.

We think it’s important, while considering the impact of budget cuts or enrollment changes, to be aware of some of those contributions.

For example, this fall over 780 students registered for UW-Madison’s largest student volunteer program, Badger Volunteers. It’s a semester-long relationship between a student and a community nonprofit in the fields of education, sustainability or public health.

Examples include tutoring, home chores for the elderly, working in local food pantry gardens, that kind of thing. Stuff that takes time away from studies and campus life but that makes a real difference in peoples’ lives and in a community.

Last year, Badger Volunteers students provided over 37,000 combined hours of service for over 80 nonprofits. Housed in the terrific Morgridge Center for Public Service, Badger Volunteers is a wonderful example of the Wisconsin Idea in action. We think that’s worth remembering in light of current political conversations.