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Spartans step up for MSU Global Day of Service

April 13, 2014
<p>Biochemistry senior Driton Gacaferi, left, and human biology freshman Billy Comstock enjoy their lunch with the other volunteers April 12, 2014, during MSU's Global Day of Service at Patriarche Park. MSU students did acts of service in several locations in East Lansing and Lansing. Erin Hampton/The State News</p>

Biochemistry senior Driton Gacaferi, left, and human biology freshman Billy Comstock enjoy their lunch with the other volunteers April 12, 2014, during MSU's Global Day of Service at Patriarche Park. MSU students did acts of service in several locations in East Lansing and Lansing. Erin Hampton/The State News

Photo by Erin Hampton | The State News

The annual Global Day of Service event kicked off Saturday morning, sending busloads of volunteers to about 11 different locations to lend helping hands to the Lansing community.

In addition to the local cleanup locations, Spartans could participate in cleanups on a national and global level.

Spartans came out from multiple organizations, including the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions, or OCAT.

Many intercultural aides in residence halls across campus came to help and brought several of the residents they attend to as well.

The work the students did at Patriarche Park in East Lansing consisted mostly of clearing away hazardous debris and rubble left behind from the harsh winter season.

The park still was brimming with activity aside from the workers as surrounding residents enjoyed the park and the favorable temperatures.

Jalen Garrett, site leader at the Patriarche Park location, said residents seemed pleased about the cleanup.

“What we were able to do was create an environment where they can enjoy their time without fear of getting hurt,” Garrett said.

Garrett, who serves as an intercultural aide in Akers Hall, said students seemed more engaged when they discovered that doing the service they did forged connections with people in the community.

“I try to find value in everything I do, I try to have a takeaway,” Garrett said. “The experience was less about me and more about the community.”

He said nothing is more gratifying than brightening someone’s day and putting a smile on their face.

This feeling was emulated by other students as well.

Communication senior Antoine Smith said if a person enjoys what they’re doing, they’re going to get more out of it.

“At the end, I can walk around this park with a big smile on my face because I did something great,” Smith said.

Advertising junior Rachel Love had a similar experience.

"(I had) the chance to use my Saturday in a resourceful way and give something back to the MSU community,” Love said.

Biosystems engineering senior Jack Stephan, who came through OCAT as an intercultural aide in Wilson hall, said as a part of the surrounding ?community, it’s important to take part in these days of service.

“This represents our school, shows that we care,” Stephan said. “(It) makes a difference in the lives of everyone around.”

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