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Max A. Shacknai COVE Continues to Contribute through Signature Programs

By Contributing Writer on March 13, 2016
Students pitched in to help Utica residents as part of a first-year pre-orientation program.

Students pitched in to help Utica residents as part of a first-year pre-orientation program.

First-Year Orientation Outreach Program

COVE sponsors a pre-orientation service opportunity for first-year students called Outreach. Outreachers work in small groups on a variety of community projects designed to assist local organizations and agencies with their significant efforts.

This year, 18 upperclassmen led 32 first-years students in service experiences throughout the Hamilton and Utica communities. After each day of service, students reflected and discussed what their service experience might mean for their impending four years at Colgate. Overall, the program contributed more than 650 hours of service work.

COVE Brown Bags

COVE Brown Bags are open to all students, staff, and faculty, and are a means by which COVE teams seek to increase knowledge and activism on issues related to their service work in the community. These luncheons take place weekly in the COVE lounge and highlight a wide array of topic areas. This year, we hosted 16 events.

9/11 Day of Service

Last fall, the COVE joined the national network of Americans who serve their local communities in remembrance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The event encourages people campuswide to volunteer in the community as a means of paying tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11.

Through our service, we remember the remarkable way that our nation rose up in unity and service following the tragedy of the attacks. Last September, more than 45 students, staff, and faculty participated in the afternoon of service contributing 180 hours of service to 8 local community organizations.

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Events

We think Martin Luther King Jr. Day should be a day on, not a day off. Our goal is to bring people of various ages and backgrounds together to move our local community and nation closer to the “beloved community” that King envisioned.

This year, we organized a number of events to honor the legacy of Dr. King. On January 22nd, we joined the national commemoration of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by hosting an MLK afternoon of service. Our students served at various community sites in Hamilton, Madison, Clinton, and Utica. More than 60 volunteers worked at 9 community organizations, combining for 250 total service hours.

Finding Money for Social Change Grant Writing Class

In 11th year, the 12-week, certificate-based grant-writing course brought together campus community visionaries, grant writing experts, and local nonprofit leaders to deliver weekly lectures to 37 Colgate students and local community member participants.

At its core, the course offers insight into the architecture of a grant. Concurrent to the weekly lectures, students were paired with six local nonprofits and charged with crafting a preliminary proposal that would serve as the foundation for a fully formed grant proposal in the near future. By working closely with the nonprofit partners, students were able to see the class theories and lessons out in real time.

High School Seminar Program

In its 56th year, the High School Seminar Program continues to use Colgate’s resources to benefit the region by introducing area high school students to college-level topics that are not available at their schools. Meanwhile, it encourages college attendance by providing them with the opportunity to experience a taste of life on a college campus. This year, 14 area schools/programs sent 289 students to participate. During each session, students engage in three seminars taught by Colgate faculty and staff.

This year’s 24 courses included the following options:

Environmental Justice
April Baptiste, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies Program

Theater Play and Improvisation!
April Sweeney, Associate Professor of Theater

African American Influence on the Transformation of American Humor
Mel Watkins, Colgate NEH Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English

Dialogue and Democracy
Ryan Solomon, Assistant Professor in Writing and Rhetoric

The Severe Weather of CNY: Global Climate Systems and Local Impact
Adam W. Burnett, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Geography

Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
Lesleigh Cushing, Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard Associate Professor in Jewish Studies and Religion

Salvage Program
The Max A. Shacknai COVE staff organizes an effort to repurpose items that students donate in the residence halls at the end of the academic year as they move off campus. Volunteers spent more than 400 hours collecting and sorting the items in Starr Rink for pick up by 26 nonprofit organizations located throughout central New York. This year, our colleagues in Institutional Advancement dedicated over 100 hours to the effort, expanding the community investment in this critical program.

The estimated value of all salvaged items put into the hands of people who need them amounted to $60,000. Our partner organizations report that the individuals they serve receive much needed supplies to furnish transitional housing, provide warm clothing and bedding and educational materials, and stock food pantry shelves.

The Community Action Partnership shared the following regarding the importance of this program to their clients: “The COVE has supported so many of our CAP programs. Sometimes it’s the “small” things that make a big difference, like the “recycled” clothing, food collection or household items that touch so many through the Salvage program alone. A complete set of dishes just feels good as opposed to a mixed up set of dishes. We worked with one mom who was so excited to have a complete matching set of dishes so her family could share a nice dinner together. And our Mentoring Girls Night Out offers items from purses to belts to backpacks and hair accessories. Those items just lift a girl up! We all like to feel good about how we look and a new purse is just fun! I could carry on about how the food offers some choices to families visiting the food cupboard and share about what a difference the COVE volunteers made by cleaning the unit of our Homeless Transitional Apartment, readying it for a new family… but what I really want to say is how amazing and how much impact the COVE volunteers make on others!”

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