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Be More. Do Good.

As the chilling months of winter fade into greener, sunny days, Olivet College is kicking off spring with the annual Spring Service Day. On March 29 and over the next few weeks, students and organizations from campus will be giving back to the surrounding communities through a variety of service projects.

Service Day has been a tradition at Olivet since 1995, but the belief in the divine art and science of doing good to others has been a core value since the College’s founding in 1844. Under the challenge to Be More and Do Good, students strive to better themselves through their education not only for personal benefit, but with the goal to enter the world with the power to create positive change. Once a semester, the entire campus community joins together to make a difference on Service Day; however, chances to perform service are available year round through service trips, both locally and globally, courses dedicated to service learning, collections taken during the holidays, efforts organized by groups on campus and more. These opportunities enrich the campus community and also broaden students’ perspectives by encouraging them to engage in real-world issues. Many students find that once they see the role they played in creating change, giving back becomes something they want to do routinely.

Sophomore Jeff Humphrey was introduced to service during his time in high school. As soon as he learned Olivet offered opportunities to give back, he jumped at the chance. “Helping someone in need is the right thing to do. Working to make someone else’s life better gives you a great feeling and benefits that person too,” explained Jeff. “My career goal is to be a politician, and I am grateful that Olivet is giving me opportunities to learn how to serve people. In the future, I know I will be prepared to serve my constituents.”

Service Day Projects

Service learning coordinator Carrie Jacob ’14 oversees the list of Service Day projects hosted by Olivet College clubs and organizations on campus.

Projects scheduled for March 29 include the Greek organization Soronian partnering with the Physical Plant to cleanse the Mott Academic Center, the Phi Alpha Pi fraternity refreshing the outdoor sand volleyball courts, and the Kappa Sigma Alpha fraternity hosting lunch at their house to show appreciation to faculty and staff.

Also, Gruen Chemistry Society members are making the chemistry lab more user friendly and computer science students are coding a database for Gamma Iota Sigma, the professional insurance fraternity on campus. The insurance and risk management seminar is hosting an Easter egg hunt for the local community and financial planning majors are offering advice on student and car loans to fellow students, both on April 5 as well.

“The project that I am most excited about this semester belongs to the Disability Rights Council (DRC),” Carrie said. “Cea Noyes, chair of the social science department, ordered a braille label maker and the group plans on making labels for Mott, and possibly other buildings depending on the number of participants. This is a project that has needed to be done for a long time, and I’m really proud of DRC for stepping up and taking on the challenge.”

In addition, students may also spend Service Day making blankets for Project Linus, a nonprofit that strives to give children in need homemade blankets; traveling to the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy to take part in the Helping Hand Project; spending time cleaning the Oak Chest, a local business that donates profits to scholarships for Olivet students; beautifying campus by planting flowers and other gardening tasks near the Conservatory; sorting and organizing the Olivet College Archives; or generally cleaning up areas near residence halls, the athletic training room and the KirkellDEL Biological Preserve. Earthbound members will also be building a deer exclosure for research at KirkellDEL.

Lend a Hand

For more information or to get involved, contact Carrie Jacob at 269.749.7127 or cjacob@olivetcollege.edu.

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