In light of the 30th anniversary of Georgetown University’s Freshmen Orientation to Community Involvement program, it is important to recognize similar community service-oriented initiatives for developing socially conscious students and reaching a larger audience on campus.
FOCI, a program that began with 14 freshmen in August 1986 and now includes over 50 members from each incoming class, is a valuable asset to Georgetown.
Previous participants have become prominent Georgetown leaders, exemplifying the extent of the program’s continued salience.
But after all, FOCI engages only 50 students a year. A visible, time-honored Georgetown tradition, FOCI’s ability to introduce participants to the social justice toolbox that facilitates successful engagement of service on the Hilltop and the wider D.C. community should be galvanized as a more available resource for students.
FOCI’s 30th anniversary last week as well as the presence of other such programs like the Alternative Breaks Program have reminded us of the importance they hold at this university and its community, but also move us to recommend either an expansion of FOCI itself or the installment of more programs like it.
Regardless of whether or not one has participated in the program, it is undeniable that FOCI and other programs have served as a model for orienting one’s own Georgetown experience toward the broader D.C. community.
During a period of life in which opportunities for personal growth and meaningful involvement surround us, service is not only a valuable use of our time, but also allows students to engage with and give back to this community — especially one that ranks among the country’s most segregated and fiscally compartmentalized communities.
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