Students volunteer 500 hours of service

Posted: April 1, 2013

Learning through service is one of the hallmarks of a Denison education, and this past week, students from the college volunteered more than 500 service hours for various community projects.

For more than 10 years, Denison has held an annual campus-wide service event called Big Red's Big Day. This year, in response to requests from students who weren't able to participate due to their schedules, the student coordinators decided to expand the event to cover a full week. Now called Big Red's Big Week, more than 250 students, including men's basketball, soccer and lacrosse and women's soccer teams, participated in projects throughout the community. Some of the projects included cleaning up sites at Everett Park and TJ Evans Park, doing yard-work with Granville Rec, testing air quality in basements in South Newark, making sack lunches for Salvation Army and snack bags for local after-school programs, cooking for New Beginnings, and even donating blood.

"One of the student's favorite activities was bringing youth from the YES clubhouse to the men's lacrosse game. Students watched the game with the kids, and afterward, the lacrosse team took them out on the field to teach some moves," says Susie Kalinoski, director of the event.

Volunteering is personally important to Megan Worden, a sophomore from Pittsburgh, who helped to coordinate Big Red's Big Week. "I volunteer because I know that any action, big or small, has the power to improve someone else's life." She added, "I've found that Denisonians are eager to help and seek opportunities to reach out to surrounding communities."

But 500 student volunteer hours, while impressive, is only a small part of the number of hours Denison students volunteer each year. Last year, 1,698 students contributed 34,820 hours of service to the community. This number represents more than 75 percent of the student body, and almost one-third of students completed at least 20 hours of service each semester. This year marks the third year the Corporation for National and Community Service placed Denison on the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

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About Denison

At Denison University, one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges, motivated students from around the world tailor educational experiences in pursuit of their highest aspirations. Innovative faculty and a completely residential campus provide an integrated learning environment for students to develop as critical thinkers, perceptive moral agents and active citizens in a global community as they prepare for rewarding lives of purpose and impact.