About The Service Center
We prepare and educate all students to make life-long contributions through genuine service and foster positive attitudes and personal growth through service in our communities.
Together we build understanding, compassion, self-worth, motivation, leadership skills, and a life-long desire to serve within each volunteer.
History of the Service Center
In 1970, when many students around the country were involved in the Vietnam War protest movement, Utah State University students chose to display their concern about America in a positive way. In the fall of that year, concerned student leaders joined together to create Utah State University's first Volunteer Organization for Involvement in the Community and Environment (VOICE).
The purpose of the Service Center was to organize students into committees and projects that would serve to improve the environment in Cache Valley as well as address some of the social issues associated with the University and community. Sue Brown (click here to find an interview with Sue on page 6 of Student Life), a student activist, became the first student director of VOICE. Dr. Val R. Christensen, who at that time was serving as Director of Student Activities, became its advisor.
In its early stages, VOICE was one of the first student-led campus volunteer organizations in the nation. The first project undertaken by the committee was to gather the leaves in the community to be hauled to the Logan City dump. During the fall quarter of that year, Dr. Christensen, along with other community and campus leaders, assisted in organizing a volunteer corps called Helpline, a walk-in agency, later expanded to a 24-hour answering service (see the 1984 Student Life article on page 9 by clicking here). A number of campus and community volunteers were recruited to participate in this project.
Soon after VOICE was organized other projects started, including Friends of the Elderly, Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Drives, Project Pals, and Special Olympics. Since that time, hundreds of students have been involved in serving the needs of the community through programs that exist in Cache Valley and the Service Center. In 2013, the Service Center became part of the USU Center for Community Engagement.
After celebrating its 50th anniversary during a pandemic year, the Service Center will now pilot a new structure led by four Social Action Lead students. They will work closely with Cache Valley's strong network of community organizations and nonprofits to connect Aggies to engagement opportunities year round.
Val R. Christensen, first advisor of the Service Center. The Service Center was renamed in his honor in 1998. (1985)
The first organized activity of VOICE was raking leaves in downtown Logan. (1970)
Students have been coaching Special Olympics athletes for decades at USU. (1983)
Come in and join the tradition of Service at USU!
USU students participated in an on-campus service activity. (1985)
Students gathered food donations at Thanksgiving to donate to local families. (1983)
Campus service council. (1985)
USU students spend spring break volunteering in Salt Lake City. (2000)
Students help remodel houses in Galveston, Texas on an Alternative Spring Break trip. (2009)
Students plant trees during an Alternative Spring Break trip. (2015)