The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — The Susquehanna University community exceeded all expectations again last month and surpassed its goal for SU SERVE 2013. SU SERVE (Susquehanna Engaging in Regional Volunteer Experiences) is an annual, monthlong initiative to provide volunteer service to communities both near to and far from the university. All told, alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff donated 24,974 service hours in the month of April on a goal of 20,000 hours. Even Susquehanna students studying abroad pledged hours, making SU SERVE 2013 a global event.
The overwhelming success of the first community-wide SU SERVE event in April 2012, during which 17,145 hours were amassed on a goal of 10,000 service hours, spurred the university to increase its 2013 goal. In addition to the volunteer hours participants donated individually to their local communities, the university’s Center for Civic Engagement organized a campuswide day of service on April 13. Local alumni, students, faculty and staff volunteered their time at more than 40 community organizations in the Susquehanna Valley on that one day.
“There is a fantastic student culture of service at Susquehanna, and SU SERVE has been a spring day of service for students since 2005. Expanding the effort to a monthlong global event is a wonderful reminder that service can be a lifelong commitment that doesn’t end with graduation,” said Jay Helmer, assistant director of residence life for civic engagement.
Susquehanna’s seven regional alumni chapters also held special service events in their areas. For example, the Central Pennsylvania Regional Alumni Chapter worked with Caitlin’s Smiles and Channel’s Food Rescues in Harrisburg, Pa. The New England chapter assisted at a food pantry in Massachusetts and a YMCA camp in Connecticut. In Pittsburgh, alumni aided Habitat for Humanity, and New Jersey alumni assisted in recovery efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy in conjunction with Susquehanna’s Phi Mu Delta fraternity.
In all, 551 members of the Susquehanna community served 701 organizations during the month of April. “Reaching service goals of 20,000 hours would not be possible without the individual contribution of each alumnus, parent, student, faculty and staff member who participated,” said Becky Bramer ’92 Deitrick, director of alumni relations. “What makes it even more special is that individual contributions help hundreds of organizations and individuals all over the world. SU SERVE is a great example of the impact that Susquehannans have on our world by helping others and how individual contributions, when joined together, can make a huge difference.”
Service is central to Susquehanna’s mission of preparing students for lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and interconnected world. The university has been recognized for its commitment to service by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Susquehanna has also been included in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since 2006 and its service programs have been honored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NAPSA). Service at Susquehanna is both local and global. Service-learning trips take students to New Orleans, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland and Peru, among other locations.
Susquehanna students often continue to serve their communities long after graduation. Sponsored by Susquehanna’s Office of Alumni Relations and Center for Civic Engagement, SU SERVE is a way for the magnitude of that impact to be documented and shared. For more information on SU SERVE, visit www.susqu.edu/suserve.