Community Engagement Day, the College's longstanding introduction to local service opportunities, has a new format this year. Switching focus from traditional off-campus service projects on the day itself, the event on Monday, August 28 is now dedicated to helping first-year students really appreciate the meaning of service and justice.
Highlighting the co-educational gifts of student leaders and community partners, Campus Minister for Community Service and Partnerships Erica Stewart ’11 has three points to share about the event.
Learning Before Serving
Our first-year students are just beginning their educational journey and, if their community engagement opportunities are to be rewarding, they need space to learn about the College’s approach to service and their personal motivations for service. That’s where the panel featuring our community partners, Community-Based Learning, the Community Engagement Program, and Athletics, followed by a discussion within their Orientation groups, will give students a chance to see the breadth of opportunities to engage with the local community. Before they approach the community, they will be exposed to our dedication to social justice.
Engaging Hearts & Minds
As educators at a Holy Cross institution, we want to discuss with new students our mission of engaging both the heart and the mind. We will ask them to reflect on how they will contribute their gifts, strengths and talents to this community and how they will fulfill their social justice responsibilities in a co-educational process with our community partners. With so many choices either on campus or in the surrounding communities, we can point them in the right direction.
What to See at the Fair
The fair is open to students of all class years seeking opportunities for community engagement, and is of special benefit to our newest students. They can wander from booth to booth, chat with community partners and learn about current justice issues present in our local community. They will get a sense of what is offered and what might be a good fit for them as they weigh up their options in preparation for participating in a community engagement opportunity for their First-Year Experience class in October. Enjoying the community focus of the fair, they'll meet new people and get acclimated to the local agencies and the College.
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