COVID-19 Student Service Corps

Two juniors launch virtual group to promote COVID-19 relief efforts

September 15, 2020

Spider Pride

Two students have formed a University of Richmond chapter of the COVID-19 Student Service Corps, a nationwide effort to promote social distancing and address urgent health system concerns.

Led by juniors Junko Takahashi and Sabrina Munro, a group of 64 active members meets virtually to assess service projects that will assist in pandemic relief efforts. The group uses social media as a tool to raise awareness, and so far they’ve held a fundraiser for personal protective equipment, shared resource guides, and organized a group that makes handmade masks.

“Our main goal is to provide educational tools for students,” Takahashi said. “Students are forgetting that if you test negative for COVID-19 and we have safety protocols in place, it doesn’t mean you’re safe. Even if you’re negative, you should wear a mask.”

The group also supports remote students and is a resource for them so they can continue to be involved in campus initiatives and do sustainable service, Takahashi said.

The students raised more than $500 during a spring fundraiser to support Remote Area Medical’s free clinic in southwest Virginia.

“We would like to do another fundraiser in the future because there are second waves cropping up in the Midwest,” Munro said. 

Takahashi and Munro worked with political science professor Rick Mayes to open UR’s chapter. The virtual volunteer group was initially created by students at Columbia University's medical, public health, nursing, and dental schools last spring to address the pandemic. Both Takahashi and Munro are members of the Wellness Education Bandits and their work with the COVID-19 Student Service Corps will be integrated with the Bandits' outreach and educational efforts on campus.