The holidays remind us this is the season of giving. All members of SUNY make a concerted effort to volunteer and contribute to their respective campuses and local communities. The 30 Days of Giving campaign highlights students and faculty across all of our 64 campuses who participate in volunteerism and give back to those in need. With over 467,000 students and three million alumni, we want to celebrate the impact the SUNY community has made in all of their unique community service projects. As we learned last year, the byproduct of taking volunteerism to scale is not only building character in our students themselves as they join our over three million alumni, but also to set an example of impact as the nation’s largest university system.
More than 500 students and volunteers from Alfred State, Alfred University, and Houghton College joined forces for a national day of service this October. Photos by Lucas Bayus.
Now in its second year, the Celebrate Service Celebrate Allegany event, held this October in Allegany County as part of the national Make a Difference Day, attracted more than 500 students and volunteers from Alfred State, Alfred University, and Houghton College.
Groups spread out across Allegany County to lend a hand raking leaves, winterizing buildings, and performing other needed community service projects. “This day is about providing meaningful assistance to our Allegany County neighbors, helping to meet community needs and build relationships,” said Jonathan Hilsher, director of civic engagement at Alfred State.
Alfred State Students Adopt a Highway Group
Alfred State students are doers, not bystanders. In fact, last year alone, more than 2,000 of this college of technology’s students contributed more than 46,000 hours of service, civic leadership, and workforce-ready knowledge to communities in need. And this August, the college was selected to participate in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement for the second consecutive year.
Alfred State has been named one of just 70 colleges and universities in the nation designated Lead Institutions by NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the leading voice for the student affairs profession.
“A single leaf provides no shade.”
That is the theme of Alfred State‘s “Pay It Forward” campaign where students practice helping others, expecting that each of those beneficiaries will go on to help three more people. The idea behind the single leaf is very similar to the principle of SUNY’s systemness – the sum of a system (or, society) is greater than its individual parts. At Alfred State, the students hold close that working together will achieve greater results for the entire community.
Whether that community is Alfred, Sandy Hook, or the entire planet, Alfred State is moving kindness forward through this innovative campaign.
To Learn. To Search. To Serve. There is, perhaps, no better way to envision the ideals etched in the SUNY seal than to discuss the vibrant citizenship of SUNY students, faculty, and staff. Civic engagement suggests an intentional focus on one’s social and political responsibilities stemming from a deep understanding of how citizens convene using democratic principles to imagine a fairer, smarter, and better world. Many SUNY campuses house centers or programs for civic engagement, and an increased civic pride, self-efficacy, and deeper interest in learning have all been cited as positive outcomes of service-learning and community service student experiences. Here are a few guidelines to get you started on your way to becoming a responsible and engaged citizen this semester!