Concordia’s new Campus Service Commissioner has been chosen. Megan Dickerson, a sophomore, will take over from senior Moriah Nelson next semester.
As Commissioner, Dickerson, a nursing major with a minor in Spanish, will be responsible for planning many of Concordia’s service-oriented events, including service projects for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a blood drive in March.
CSC has affiliations with nine agencies in the Fargo-Moorhead community through which the group facilitates student service efforts. The agencies CSC works with include Eventide Living Center, a nursing home nearby Concordia’s campus and Cobber Kids, which is Concordia’s day care center. CSC helps professors and student organizations plan service projects as well.
Students who do service work through CSC are required to commit to at least two hours of service each week.
Dickerson has been involved in service work on campus since her first semester as a freshman. Last year she volunteered at Eventide.
“I adopted a grandparent,” Dickerson said, ”so I went and played bingo with her (and) had coffee with her.”
This year Dickerson has been volunteering at Nokomis, a low-income child care center. Her service work history goes back to high school, where she did work for Habitat for Humanity.
“What draws me to doing service work,” Dickerson said, “(is that) I think it’s a great way to not only bond with the people you’re helping, but to bond with your entire community.”
CSC hires new staff during fall semester to begin work during spring semester, which is unique among campus organizations. This is done mostly to give the new staff more time to plan Hands for Change, the community-wide service project undertaken by incoming freshmen during orientation.
The first major event Dickerson will work on as commissioner is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, for which CSC will provide some kind of service opportunity.
Current commissioner Moriah Nelson is already working on putting this event together.
“I’m in the planning stages of it now, but then I’ll pass the reins off to Megan,” Nelson said.
Dickerson said it is “a little bit unique” for a sophomore to be chosen as CSC’s commissioner.
“It’s especially unique because I haven’t been on CSC’s staff before,” Dickerson said. “They usually pick from current staff.”
Goplen, however, hesitates to place too much importance on Dickerson’s age.
“To me it doesn’t really matter whether she’s a sophomore or whether she’s a senior; the biggest thing is that she has the passion for service,” Goplen said. Goplen also added that there have been sophomores in the position before, so it is not unprecedented.
Nelson has already begun training Dickerson to take over the position in January.
“I want to make sure that she feels confident taking over the position because that’s something that I wish I would have had when I took over the position,” Nelson said. “I’ve been keeping a kind of mental checklist all year of ‘Things I Would Have Liked to Know.’”
As part of her training, Dickerson will be “shadowing” Nelson throughout the rest of the semester to prepare for her position. Nelson is pleased with Dickerson’s enthusiasm so far.
“She is really gung-ho and ready to be wherever I am now in the planning process,” Nelson said.
Dickerson stressed that she did not think her age made her any less qualified to do the job.
“I think if you are passionate and you are willing to put in anything, it doesn’t really matter how old you are if you’re willing to give it your all,” Dickerson said.
Austin Gerth is a member of Concordia’s class of 2016. He edits the Opinion section. He has worked variously as a pizza cook, night-time dishwasher, caterer and water park attendant. He is a writing major, having determined through his experiences in the working world that he is ill-suited to manual labor. He enjoys ginger ale and no longer owns a poodle. He also writes for The COBBlog, and contributes freelance writing to MPR.