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Author Topic: Government or community service be required of 18-21 year olds?  (Read 2981 times)
Violet Rios
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« on: April 25, 2006, 6:26:06 pm »

Some people have suggested that everyone between the ages of 18 and 21 should be required to perform one year of community or government service, such as in the Peace Corps, Environmental Conservancy Corps, a hospital, the military, a rural or inner-city school, or other community outreach projects. Should government or community service be required of 18-21 year olds?
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Langprof
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2006, 6:48:22 pm »

I think this idea has some merits.  However, the service opportunities would need to be organized in such a way that maturity, tolerance and independence are fostered. They should be required to go to a different area of the country and interact with different kinds of people.
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White Knight
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2006, 4:46:41 am »

Compulsory service in a democratic republic is a contradiction.
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AnonAnon
Guest
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2006, 5:12:07 am »


Agreed, compulsory service does not fit into a society that values (or is supposed to) liberty.
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Zarkov
Guest
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2006, 5:21:37 am »

Violet Rios wrote:

> Some people have suggested that everyone between the ages of 18
> and 21 should be required to perform one year of community or
> government service, such as in the Peace Corps, Environmental
> Conservancy Corps, a hospital, the military, a rural or
> inner-city school, or other community outreach projects. Should
> government or community service be required of 18-21 year olds?

Three questions:

1. what problem does this solve? (or attempt to solve)

2. is govenment service the best way of solving this problem?

3. do the benefits outweigh the costs?
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henrietta
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2006, 5:51:45 am »

Also, consider the impact on the organizations where these "volunteers" would be serving. The people who already supervise actual volunteers have a tough job (training, supervising, motivating, etc. with tiny budgets and large demand for their services), without being required to babysit a bunch of 18-21 year-olds who don't want to be there.
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Anon2
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2006, 5:52:19 am »

Required, as in under threat of imprisonment you must join these groups?  Certainly not in a democratic republic, c'mon folks.   "Government doesn't solve problems; government IS the problem."

Now, surely there are social ills that need fixing.  I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with incentivized service.  Something like: join the Peace Corps for 3 years and receive X (education vouchers, tax relief, student loan debt forgiveness, a certificate suitable for framing, a shiny medal, etc.)
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PF
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2006, 7:06:16 am »


We definitely need to bring the military draft back. Except this time we need to include women in the monthly callups.
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Prytania
Guest
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2006, 7:13:18 am »

Then Canada will have an immigration problem.
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Yes! BEFORE college
Guest
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2006, 8:48:46 am »

x
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Ceri
Guest
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2006, 10:48:00 am »

I don't favor the military draft but it sure feels like we are headed in that direction.  

Our "all volunteer" army is stretched to the limit.  If the draft is reinstated (God forbid) then I think alternative service opportunities like the Peace Corps have to become an option.

If the draft is reinstated then we have to make sure that the process is equitable unlike the set up during Vietnam.
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viola
Guest
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2006, 6:48:55 am »

I agree with the posts about compulsory service contradicting the idea of democracy (it is a similar contradiction to *requiring* "service learning"--if it's required and students get credit for it, is it really service?--but that may be another thread).  

Yet I'd like to see students encouraged to do SOMETHING other than treat college as the default selection for what to do after high school if they don't want to work at McDonald's.  Many of the problems we lament on these fora relate to students' lack of motivation, and lack of motivation comes from lack of purpose.  In my experience, students who have taken a year or two off to work, or to do service of some kind, come to college with greater maturity and a desire to learn, having experienced what the "real world" is like. . . .

It would be interesting if some top colleges and universities started giving priority admission to students who could demonstrate real engagement in the world, whether through service or work, and discuss what they had learned thereby.  Wild idea, I know, and none would go this route for fear of losing students, $$, FTEs.  Still. . . .
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ANON2
Guest
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2006, 4:19:27 am »

In some parts of Canada, high school students are *required* to complete community service/volunteer component in order to graduate. They can complete it at any point during high school and the definition of volunteer work is pretty liberal. I'm not sure how many hours are required . . .  but (not surprisingly) many students let the whole thing slide and they scramble at the end of their degree to complete the volunteer component.

Of course, some students scam the whole thing, and get some family friend to sign-off on the deal, but lots of others use the chance to check out potential careers. (e.g., It can give them a feel for what work in a hospital is *really* like.) Not all bad.
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