Orientation Tradition of Service Doesn’t Stop in Quarantine

By Caitlin Burns | September 29, 2020

By Katherine Haines ’21

This year’s New Student Orientation Day of Service, sponsored by the Community and Civic Engagement Center (CCEC), looked different from previous years. On Saturday, Aug. 29, Day of Service was held as a fully virtual event featuring both in synchronous and asynchronous formats.

This year there were 10 different placements with 118 first-year student participants. The 32 students who decided to participate in the Rise Against Hunger virtual 5K raised nearly $4,000 to combat hunger around the world. CCEC sponsored the registration cost for students to participate, with the students donating an additional $443 to the nonprofit. 

The students also had the option to participate in many different service projects—from crafting for a cause to cleaning up their neighborhood. Students worked with Brush with the Law, which held a Zoom info session where the students learned how to make paper beads that are sold by the organization; created cards for nursing homes and children’s hospitals; and created videos showcasing their talents for Brighten the Day. 

Other students collaborated online to design a guide for transracial hair care packages to send to foster families that are transracial, or participated in playing Free Rice, a game that’s played on a phone or computer where points help the World Food Programme and the United Nations raise money for global hunger relief. 

Students could also go out into their communities, while practicing social distance, to do neighborhood cleanups. 

“Having such a wide range of activities enabled students to show up in whatever way they were able to,” CCEC Graduate Assistant Kiara Jacoby ’20, ’21M said. “The first-year students were excited to be engaged in this program.”