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Students participate in community service on Saturday

November 10, 2013
	<p>One of the coordinators for the Spartan Day of Service Joshua Gillespie speaks to incoming volunteers as they take their seats in a lecture hall at the Business College Complex. The event was put on to help improve the community of <span class="caps">MSU</span> and the East Lansing area through volunteer work. Brian Palmer/The State News</p>

One of the coordinators for the Spartan Day of Service Joshua Gillespie speaks to incoming volunteers as they take their seats in a lecture hall at the Business College Complex. The event was put on to help improve the community of MSU and the East Lansing area through volunteer work. Brian Palmer/The State News

Photo by Brian Palmer | The State News

Very few students would sacrifice sleep on a non-football Saturday morning, but this week some Spartans stepped up to the plate for a good cause.

Take It To The Streets featured students giving back to the community by cleaning up parks, removing old school supplies at an abandoned school and assisting at a local haven house.

The Residence Education and Housing Services, or REHS, collaborated with Office for Cultural and Academic Transitions, Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and a new student group called On The Rise.

“We can’t do everything, but all of us can do ?something, so we want to remind people of that,” said Joshua Gillespie, REHS assistant director and chair of the Take It To The Streets committee. “This (event) allows us to extend beyond the walls of MSU, and some of those folks will see sites they have never seen before and be in a part of Lansing that they didn’t know existed.”

Wendy Poulin, a staff member with Residential and ?Hospitality Services and one of the organizers on the event committee, said the event gave out-of-state and international students the opportunity to connect with the community through volunteering.

There were 12 sites in Lansing and one in East ?Lansing where students could volunteer.

Gillespie said the Spartan Day of Service consisted of two parts. The first part of the event took place in August as part of the training for the Resident Assistants and intercultural aids.

He said the idea for the ?second part of the community service event developed from the staff’s demands to go back to the sites, which led to the REHS office providing the ?volunteer opportunity to all MSU students.

Gillespie said the goal is to host this event annually, with at least 15,000 volunteers. He estimated the volunteer count for Saturday’s event was more than 500 students.

Genomics and molecular genetics junior Ashley Jones said she was looking to conclude her volunteering experience with a sense of accomplishment.

“I got up early today to ?better the community, and I’m not getting paid for it,” Jones said.

Gillespie said the committee will be joining the Alumni Association on the annual Spartan Global Day of Service, taking place on April 12. On this day, Spartans around the world will tweet and use ?Instagram to show what they are doing across the world.

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