Distinguished Service goes online

Gage Mingo, Staff Writer

Distinguished Service — the program that allows students to receive recognition for volunteer service hours at Manhattan High — has been around for a while. However, on Aug. 30, the program upgraded from paper to an online submission system. 

The counselors added a link to their department website for students to submit hours to Naviance through a website called X2VOL, which is verified by email or text message. Once on the website, students will submit the hours that they have done, along with the contact information of the person who organized the volunteer opportunity. 

Senior Raeshon Riddick started using this program a couple of days ago when he volunteered at an event with his Interpersonal Skill group. 

“It’s easier than having to fill out the paper and… worry about whether or not it’s going to be turned in for hours,” Riddick said.

There is also a X2VOL app that will let students submit service hours from anywhere.

“Students are always on their phones,” Riddick said. “[It] just takes a few seconds on hand, just to log into a website and put in your hours.” 

There are only 28 people using the X2VOL so far, and as of right now there is only one event on the website, but the event planners are working to put more on the website.

Erin Spreer, sophomore counselor, is the one who makes events and sets up the website with the help of Tony Wichmann, senior counselor. By next semester, Spreer wants to be done with paper forms and use the website for all student volunteer service. This will let students and their families be able to track how many hours of community service they have, as well as providing more efficiency for service requirements on college applications and graduation cords. 

Sponsors or coaches can have Spreer make them an account for posting volunteer events. She wants anyone who has questions to come talk to her. 

“I just think this will be more efficient, and more accurate, I think, for everybody,” Spreer said. “Once we get everybody on it and get going… technology is just the way of life now. It just kind of makes sense. And that paper copy thing is just painful.”

Last year, the counselors were looking for an online site to do all the voluntary events and have them all organized and set up for the students.  They then adopted X2VOL. The counselors have already put all the volunteer hours from the paper form to the electronic website. Instead of having to hunt down people for volunteer hours, the website will have the events for the school listed and any other events, but if a student does something like church work, they will have to, on the website, fill out the contact info for only the person in charge of the event. The website is there to help promote people to do volunteer service and being positively active while making it more accessible to others. 

“Now all you have to do is either have a phone number or email address. And, what with the power of this is all going to be able to do is that we can put in a contact information and we can put in the activities that’s available for the individual to do, and then contact those individuals through that website,” Wichmann said. ”So there’s a database that we need to create on our side, to make this a powerful tool and look at individuals’ opportunities.”