While a service requirement hardly guarantees any benefits—which are contingent, among other things, on the extent to which your staff and the students themselves take the activities seriously—neither does it preclude such benefits. Much depends on how (and by whom) the activities are designed.
People carry with them a set of rules or beliefs about the way they feel the world should operate. These beliefs are shaped by your experiences, the way you were raised, your values, your friends, popular culture, and more.
What justifies the bloated expenses of the finance industry, the exorbitant salaries, percentages taken off the top, the finder’s fees, the bonuses? We have to wonder what do bankers do that justifies the added cost of their services?
Why not read a magnificent novel about ordinary people in Japan, 1984, who suddenly enter a parallel universe where there are two moons, Little People with enormous powers, and magical encounters? A love story, and a horror story.