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Thursday, March 18, 2010

SCSU on president’s list for community service

NEW HAVEN — Southern Connecticut State University students have earqualified for a spot on a prestigious list that is promoted by the president of the United States.
SCSU has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll – a federal recognition awarded to those colleges and universities that demonstrate a strong commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The university joins 741 other schools nationwide that were selected to the honor roll on the basis of a variety of criteria, such as the percentage of student enrollment engaged in community service, scope and innovation of projects, incentives offered and the extent to which a school offers academic service-learning courses.
The program is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through programs such as Senior Corps and AmeriCorps. The organization works collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
An estimated 2,800 SCSU students – nearly a quarter of the entire student body – were engaged in some form of community service during the 2008-09 academic year. About 95 percent of those students participated in at least 20 hours of community service per semester. All totaled, SCSU students logged an estimated 38,000 service hours.
“We are very proud of our students to have been selected for this recognition,” said Ronald Herron, SCSU vice president for student and university affairs. “Their efforts underscore the university’s commitment to community engagement, an important component of Southern’s Strategic Plan.”
Herron praised Denise Bentley-Drobish, director of student life; Sal Rizza, assistant director of student life, and the entire staff at SCSU’s Office of Student Life for their work to coordinate a series of university-wide and club-based community service projects. He also expressed admiration for the outstanding work performed by the Athletic Department for its major spring service project that focused on breast cancer awareness and prevention.
“Our students have become increasingly interested and involved in community service and civic engagement,” Rizza said. “They’re building great relationships with the local community and providing valuable services to a variety of agencies. We are excited and proud that Southern students have received such a prestigious honor.”
Among the major projects for which SCSU was credited was the second annual Day of Service, when 250 students, as well as 20 faculty and staff members, traveled onto the streets of New Haven and helped clean up the streets through trash cleanup, sweeping and gardening. In six hours, SCSU collected more than eight tons of trash.
Last spring, SCSU held its second annual “Big Event,” which attracted 300 students and 30 faculty and staff members to conduct physical or landscaping improvements and other volunteer activities at 22 agencies. These included schools, parks, a local Ronald McDonald House, a convalescent home and the homes of elderly alumni.
And 500 students, along with 100 faculty and staff members, volunteered with the fifth annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event, also held last spring.

Editor's note: the information in this post was provided in a press release.

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