Numerous Activities Planned for Service Week
A Community and Organization Fair and picnic will kick off Alma College’s sixth annual Service Week Sept. 10 through 15.
The Service Learning Office, in collaboration with other campus and community organizations, coordinates the week’s opportunities and events as part of the College’s mission to prepare students to “serve generously.” As in previous years, community non-profit and campus student service groups will recruit volunteers and new members for the academic year during the first full week of classes in the fall term.
“Highlighting service at the beginning of the year establishes the commitment that Alma College has to addressing local needs as a community partner,” says Anne Ritz, service learning coordinator.
“In addition, students can commit to a service activity early in the term while they have time to include it in their schedule,” she continues, adding that positions for work-study opportunities, as volunteers, and within programs such as Explore Afterschool are more available during this time.
The week kicks off Monday, Sept. 10, with the evening Community and Organization Fair and an all-student picnic on the Chapel lawn. While attendees enjoy the food and fair, they can join a scavenger hunt and games, also on the Chapel lawn, and ultimately the fun of mentoring elementary and middle school students through the Mentor PLUS and Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. Following the festivities, students interested in participating in off-campus service and travel opportunities during winter break can get more information at the Alternative Break organizational meeting in Dow L4 at 7 p.m.
Students wishing to make an impact through creative expression have their first opportunity on Tuesday, Sept. 11, when they can design a square of residence hall wall displays commemorating “Healing, Honoring, and Peace.” The paper quilt squares with instructions can be picked up at the Service Learning Office or in the Hamilton Dining Room. On Friday, Sept. 14, creative continues as students write letters to a Michigan soldier. Again, paper and instructions will be available at the Service Learning Office and during lunch and dinner in Hamilton.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m., one of the premier speakers of the year can be heard in Cappaert Gymnasium when the Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, addresses the campus and community. Admission is free and open to the public.
For those who wish to get service projects and themselves moving, there are a variety of opportunities to actively and immediately make a difference or take a stand, including the Road Rally sponsored by the United Way of Gratiot County on Thursday, Sept. 13, the Adopt a Highway cleanup project sponsored by the national co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega on Saturday, Sept. 15, and annual Walk for Orphans sponsored by the Forgotten Children of Eastern Europe, also on Sept. 15.
As every contribution counts, students can make a difference in a less than a minute by donating meals from their meal plans for Community Café, which provides a free dinner at First Presbyterian Church on Thursdays. Students interested in helping to serve meals from 4:50 to 7 p.m. should meet at the Chapel steps at 4:45 p.m.
“Students benefit from the many experiences that service opportunities provide,” says Ritz, who encourages each and every student, staff, and community member to participate in some sort of service work, project or event.
“Leadership opportunities are a key focus,” she adds, “as many local non-profit agencies rely on our students, faculty and staff as volunteers.”
Other events and opportunities throughout the week include a report on Thursday evening, Sept. 13, from Discovering Vocation interns who served in and out of the country recently, an informational meeting hosted by Alpha Phi Omega in SAC 109 on Tuesday evening, Sept. 11, and a service leadership camp at Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center for students interested in community service, service learning and civic engagement from Friday, Sept. 14, to Sunday, Sept. 16.
Posted: Wed, September 5th, 2007 at 12:31AM