The Purple Clarion

The Student News Site of Harrisburg High School

The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

National Honor Society requirements limit students


Service is one of the four pillars of the National Honor Society (NHS). To be eligible for NHS students must obtain 15 or more service points at HHS. Students gain these service points through clubs or sports. Although, there is a limit of two points per club or sport. So if a student were to earn 30 hours of community service in a club, only two of those hours are able to go towards the NHS for that specific club. This point system is unfair to students who earn several community service hours in a limited number of clubs.

The student handbook states, “A candidate must have a minimum of 15 service points to be admitted to National Honor Society as a senior and as a junior.”

However, the handbook does not mention the two point per club system at all. This is a huge issue as some students are not aware of this limit. It is unfair to enforce rules that are not stated in the handbook. 

This point system forces students to be in a variety of clubs, but community service is service, no matter the specific club from which that service is earned. 

On the official NHS website, there are no specific requirements when earning service hours. Some schools require a minimum of around 15 service hours with no limiting system. For example, Carbondale Community High School requires students to have community service hours for NHS and takes into account a student’s work experience, such as babysitting and lawn mowing.

Furthermore, not all clubs have equal opportunities to earn community service hours. Art Club tends to have many opportunities to earn community service hours, whereas Book Club has few.

“Book Club sells candy canes during the Christmas season so that students can send them to their friends, but I wouldn’t necessarily call that ‘community service,’” said Book Club sponsor Stephanie Winkler. 

Students should be recognized for their service work and not limited by a point system. Community service is service, whether it is from one organization or multiple. By removing the point limitations, more students may be eligible to join the National Honor Society, benefiting students for college. 

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About the Contributor
Leah Haugen
Leah Haugen, Staff Writer
Leah Haugen is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her first year as a staff member of the Purple Clarion. She participates in Art Club, History Club, and Key Club.  Leah has an interest in psychology and the medical field. In her free time, she watches medical documentaries and regularly researches psychological concepts. After graduation, she plans to attend SIU to obtain a degree in psychiatry. “Student journalism allows others to be up to date on news in their local community and the world around them through the help of their school’s newspaper team.”

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    WhittleighNov 10, 2023 at 11:44 am

    So true leah