National Service Week is an annual event that stretches back to 1979, when Dr. Stan Carpenter, Xi Omicron ’68, thought there needed to be a time when all brothers united to provide service as members of the National Service Fraternity. At a July 1979 Board of Directors meeting, Brother Carpenter moved that National Service Day be conducted and promoted as “Service Day 1979 – A Celebration of Service,” and his motion was successful. Then National Service Chairman, Brother Carpenter would later become National President. National Service Day was expanded to a full week in 1996, and since then, APO brothers have performed service for a week each year reflecting a specific theme determined biennially at the National Convention.
The National Service Week program of emphasis for 2017 is “Suicide Prevention on Campus.”
Mental health is a complex and sensitive topic that most young adults do not openly discuss. In the 15-24 age group, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2013, second only to unintentional injury. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the 18-25 age group had the highest prevalence of mental illness at approximately 22.1 percent. This means that in every one of the Fraternity’s sections, or regions, someone we know is or has been affected by mental illness.
With the safety of all members of our campus, community, and nation in mind, we ask help to further this cause. Every member has a part to play. From starting a National Service Week project on campus, to spreading awareness of this endeavor, to simply talking and listening to another student, we all have the power to make a difference.
“Suicide Prevention on Campus” November 5-11, 2017
“Suicide Prevention in the Community” November 4-10, 2018
Chapter officers must submit an NSW Report through the Chapter Officer Portal by November 15. Reports are REQUIRED for a chapter to remain in good standing with the Fraternity regardless of whether or not the chapter did a project. Please be prompt. Timely submission of this report is imperative for the chapter to qualify for the Chapter of Excellence Award.
The National Service Committee has developed a handbook for chapters and extension groups to refer to as they plan and implement their NSW projects. The handbook contains more information on NSW and the history of the program, project planning tips and timelines, as well as reporting information.
Listed below are a few ideas for projects that are congruent with the themes for NSW 2017. It is up to each chapter and extension group to determine what kind of project to do. Don’t feel limited to this list. It is intended to help jump start ideas and find a the project best suited for the chapter and community.