Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps, Learn and Serve America, Armed Forces.
Although national service, in the form of both military and community
services, is by no means a new issue, it has had little time in the
spotlight since the draft protests of the Vietnam War era. However, with
the proposed federal expansion of groups like AmeriCorps, the topic has
resurfaced, once again sparking debate.
This time, one source of controversy is the proposed optional
substitution of the Peace Corps -- service that has traditionally been
voluntary and not intertwined with the military -- for Armed Forces
duty. Also up for debate is the enforcement of temporary, but mandatory,
community service for all U.S. citizens.
Supporters contend these programs will boost community involvement and
provide a vast number of service opportunities. Opponents say mandated
volunteerism is not only a violation of civil rights, but also is not
Many other factors -- such as furthering American democratic ideals
overseas, improving disaster relief, increasing military efficiency, and
potentially adversely affecting the economy -- must be considered.
This collection will provide you with ample resources to strengthen your
argument, regardless of which side of the national service issue you are
Compiled by Alison Vande Bunte
Photo credit: © Corporation for National and Community Service, Office
of Public Affairs