President Teresa Amott’s installation culminated with a “day of service,” where students volunteered at local community service events around the campus.
The day of service was intended to be a way for students to get involved in the community, by volunteering at local organizations that set up projects in coordination with the school.
Coordinator of the Center for Community Service Kathleen Ridlon described the day of service as, “a sort of an entry level opportunity to get involved in the place that you live.”
The projects completed were often times issues that were too large to accomplish with the number of staff at the organization, making the volunteers a well-received resource.
“It’s a great opportunity for two organizations to come together to make a better community for everybody,” Director of the Discovery Depot Matt Warnsing said. “A lot of the things that the students are doing today … are projects that may have been a year and a half, and up to two years away, because getting that help is kind of tough at times.”
Students saw the opportunity as way to give back to the community and liked the aspect of working directly with the organizations to beautify the locations.
“I have been interested in volunteering for a while and getting involved in something that allows me to help the Galesburg community, and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to do that,” freshman Michael Cooke said, while volunteering at the Galesburg Public Library.
President Amott intends to expand the day of service, something that she encountered at Gettysburg College.
“This day was really designed to support and enhance the arrival of our new president and to be a part of her installation. This was very much a reflection of her goals and objectives for the college,” Ridlon said.
The event will hopefully be the first of many campus-wide days of service.
“She wants to initiate a day of service for each term,” Ridlon said. “She has also suggested that we have a day of service as a part of first-year orientation, so that right from your first few days on campus you are aware of and you know how to get involved, get connected, become engaged.”
Joan Miller, Ray Miller’s mother, recalled the day of service at Gettysburg College and was pleased with the enthusiasm of the volunteers.
Joan Miller came from Gettysburg, Pa. for the installment.
“I’m enjoying seeing this project. We have done something similar to this at Gettysburg College, where Teresa was before. I think student activity within the community is very important, to know how to integrate into the community, see the needs, and familiarize themselves with what they will encounter in adult life, not just college,” Joan Miller said.
“I have come to visit the new president and I kissed a president the other day for the first time in my life, and I’m going to tell them that back home,” she said, laughing.