National Dishonorable Society

Kelly Miller, Staff Writer

The glory of turning in perfectly finished assignments is sometimes hard to come by later in the year. You’ve poured your soul into that one assignment, only to find out it could have been slapped together the period before like everyone else’s and still receive full credit. Just slowly skulk away and realize that to slack, is to succeed. Drastic as that may be, some students feel this is happening with the volunteering and credit earning system that is taking place in the National Honors Society.

Some take issue with the unequal amount of work put into the “volunteering for credits” system.  These controversial credits are fulfilled through various volunteering opportunities. After signing up and doing the work, whether it is helping out with a carnival or buying a Christmas present for the needy, the student’s volunteering is recorded for the credit. The hoopla is centered around what options there are for the volunteering. One student said, “I brought a rice dish to the International Dinner for one credit and I also tutored for three hours for one credit. The amount of work put in to earn them is pretty unbalanced.” One opportunity to earn credits is to collect fifty box tops. Box tops are those blue rectangles on some grocery units. Each box top counts as ten cents to a school. Fifty box tops is equal to five dollars. One Junior said, “I would much rather just give them five bucks. What’s the difference?” People see how easy handing over a five dollar bill would be, but how could that possibly amount to the work put into tutoring students after school?

Although unequal, most students are fine with doing more work if it helps their community. Senior Mariah Fore said, “I think it is good that we have the volunteering requirements in place.  NHS is about leadership, scholarship, character, and service. Without the service, I don’t really think it should be called National Honors Society.”

Established in 1921, NHS is described as, “the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.” At Olympia High School NHS has a whopping 228 members which is about twelve percent of our student body. Most members are invited into the club sophomore year. To call yourself a member you need at least a 3.6 GPA and four completed credits every year.

One student who has been in the club for three years said, “I feel like I am helping the community to a point. The opportunities to get credits are the same every year and we are technically helping a limited number of people in the community.” Senior Brian Russell said, “I did volunteer work that I tried to get credit for, but it wasn’t approved. I didn’t have enough time to do that work and the pre-approved opportunities, so I’m not in National Honor Society anymore.” Mr. Bryan, the teacher in charge of NHS explains the limited volunteer choices: “We tend to choose the programs that will put the members into leadership opportunities.” Later Mr. Bryan went onto say, “There are also chances to help the community in a great way. We have raised thousands of dollars for Pioneer Elementary School, just by collecting box tops.”

Student of the Month Coordinator for NHS, Senior Adrora Nwankwo said, “I tutor at Good Shepard and I really enjoy doing that. The credits are just another benefit of helping out.” Overall to the majority of students in National Honors Society it is great just to help out. Any work put in is greatly appreciated by the community.