Traditions of Public Service

(click on the plus sign (+) to see a description and contact information if provided)

+Anatomical Donors Day

Campus: SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Description:  Students and faculty perform music and poetry and address words of thanks to family members whose loved ones bequeathed anatomical gifts to advance medical education.

+Buffalo State College Community Service Day

Campus: Buffalo State College
Contact Information: Laura Hill Rao, Coordinator, Volunteer and Service-Learning Center Career Development Center
Phone number: 716-878-5811                                    Email Address: hilla@buffalostate.edu
Description:  Buffalo State College Community Service Day engages students, faculty, and staff in community projects through a day of service. Begun in 1996, Community Service Day is coordinated in collaboration with BSC Volunteer and Service-Learning Center community partners to meet identified community needs throughout the City of Buffalo. Held annually in the spring, service activities include community gardening, clean-up, painting, construction, tree planting, and playground rehabilitation. Now a much anticipated event on campus, approximately 300-400 students, faculty, and staff work collaboratively with dozens of community residents to improve green space and other areas.

+Campus Recreation Debbie Whittemore 5k Run/Walk

Campus: Stony Brook University
Contact Information: Marie Turchiano
Phone number: 631-632-4145                                    Email Address: mturchiano@notes.cc.sunysb.edu
Description:  Memorial 5k Run/Walk around the university campus in memory of Debbie Whittemore SBU Student and Athletic Trainer who was killed by a drunk driver.

+Clean & Green Day

Campus: SUNY Purchase
Contact Information: Rebecca Roberts
Phone number: 914-251-6020                                    Email Address: rebecca.roberts@purchase.edu
Description:  Spearheaded by the Campus Beautification Committee, this day brings faculty, staff, and students together in an effort to beautify the campus.  Participants spend the day weeding gardens, planting trees and flowers, and working on other projects to brighten up the physical appearance of Purchase.

+Community Service Day

Campus: SUNY Delhi
Contact Information: Marty Greenfield, Director of Student Activities
Phone number: (607) 746-4568                                  Email Address: greenfmh@delhi.edu
Description:  Community Service Day is a very important aspect of SUNY Delhi’s overall dedication to serving the local community.  The event is coordinated through the O’Connor Center for Community Service, a part of the Student Life Division. Between 200-300 students, faculty and staff  members work in teams serving various local agencies and on pre-determined assignments.  Local organizations coordinate their specific needs for service through the O’Connor Center and after meeting for an early breakfast, teams of volunteers spread out into the community to serve.  This event usually takes place early in the College year, and serves as a valuable introduction to the O’Connor Center for Community Service.

+Fall Sweep

Campus: Fredonia
Contact Information: David Herman
Phone number: 716-679-0727                                    Email Address: David.Herman@Fredonia.edu
Description:  Several student groups and atletic teams paricipate in the Fall Sweep (leaf clean up) in the Village of Fredonia.  The Village Mayor and University President are invited to kick off the event, and over 300 students take to the streets in teams to rake predesignated yards of senior citizens and other needy families. The Campus Communication Assoication coordinates the event, handles the identification of homes, and coordinates press coverage.  Residents and volunteers are invited for refreshments and a small concert following the clean up.  The event takes about four hours and builds positive relations between the campus and the community.

+Health Fair

Campus: SUNY Old Westbury
Contact Information: Susan Mundy
Phone number: 516.876.3250                                     Email Address: mundys@oldwestbury.edu
Description:  Each year, Student Health Services coordinates a Health Fair.  This fair is open to students, faculty, and staff and typically includes free screenings for blood pressure, hemoglobin, scoliosis, vision, blood sugar, and BMI.  It also includes a Blood Drive sponsored by the Student Government Association in conjunction with Student Health Services as well as a number of vendors offer health information and samples.

+Make A Difference Week

Campus: Potsdam
Contact Information: Carolyn Leathers
Phone number: (315) 267-3266                                  Email Address: avilaca@potsdam.edu
Description:  Make a Difference Week is held in October during the week that the National Make A Difference Day occurs.  Students wanted it to be longer than one day to be able to reach out to more people and groups in the community.  Students have the opportunity to volunteer in the Potsdam area commmunity as well as raise funds for different community programs.  These efforts for community outreach are coordinated by the Office of Experiential Education in the Student Success Center.

+MLK Day of Service

Campus: SUNY Purchase
Contact Information: Rebecca Roberts
Phone number: 914-251-6020                                    Email Address: rebecca.roberts@purchase.edu
Description:  The legacy of Dr. King is immersed in the idea of service, so introducing and involving the future leaders of tomorrow in this basic concept seems natural. From food banks to homeless shelters, various representatives from the student clubs and organizations, the Resident Assistant staff from the Office of Residence Life, and the programming assistants from the Office of Student Life & Community Partnerships collectively participate in a day of service and then reflect on the experience afterward. For some, it is an eye opener, a first time experience, while for others it is a habit. Either way, the legacy is still alive.

+Move-In Crew

Campus: SUNY Delhi
Contact Information: Marty Greenfield, Director of Student Activities
Phone number: (607) 746-4568                                  Email Address: greenfmh@delhi.edu

Description:  Move-In Crew  One of SUNY Delhi’s oldest and most appreciated traditions is the Move-In Crew.  After driving to campus, incoming freshman and their families are greeted by an eager crew of students, faculty, and staff (including the President and Cabinet members) who enthusiastically help them carry their bags and belonging to their new residence hall rooms.  This labor intensive tradition is always greatly appreciated by incoming freshmen and their families, and serves as a very special welcome to our campus.  Returning students volunteer for this assignment, and spend time telling new students about campus and upcoming Orientation activities.
+Relay For Life

Campus: University at Albany
Contact Information: Michael Jaromin
Phone number: (518) 442-5566                                  Email Address: mjaromin@uamail.albany.edu
Description:  Held each spring, the Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research, advocacy, education, and patient services programs of the American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather and take turns walking or running laps. The event is supported by various campus entities and has grown in participation over the years to involve over 2,000 students and raise over $100,000.

+Residential Life Raffle Night

Campus: University at Albany
Contact Information: Holly Barker-Flynn
Phone number: 518-442-3147                                    Email Address: hbarker@uamail.albany.edu
Description:  Residential Life Raffle Night began in 2005 as an event to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Tragically, the following summer, UAlbany President Kermit L. Hall passed away, and Raffle Night became an annual tradition.  To honor his memory and generosity, each year the money collected is given to a campus scholarship fund to help students in need find ways to finance their college education.  To date, Residential Life Raffle night has raised over $12,000 and supported the Disabled Student Scholarship Fund, Equal Opportunities Program Second Chance Scholarship Fund, The Richard Bailey Memorial Scholarship Fund and President Kermit L. Hall Inaugural Scholarship Fund. The format of Residential Life Raffle Night consists of raffle ticket sales to students and UAlbany staff which they can place into a variety of prize containers for an opportunity to win the prize of their choice.  Throughout the event, student groups perform and raffle tickets are drawn.  The event usually draws between 300-500 people.

+Silent Auction to Benefit Student Scholarships

Campus: SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Description:  We coordinate campus-wide donations for items to include in the silent auction.  We also reach out to the local community (restaurants, businesses) to donate items.  The silent auction takes place from 9am-4pm and everyone from Downstate is invited to bid on items.  This is an extremely successful event and the money raised goes toward student scholarships.  We work with Financial Aid to identify students in need.

+Student Life Days of Service

Campus: SUNY Purchase
Contact Information: Rebecca Roberts
Phone number: 914-251-6020                                    Email Address: rebecca.roberts@purchase.edu
Description:  A food pantry, a domestic abuse shelter, and a community center serving elementary-aged youth are a few examples of sites served as part of a monthly Day of Service coordinated by the Office of Student Life & Community Partnerships. Based on the notion that an early introduction is key, first year students are the targeted population but all students are welcome to participate and give back to the communities that surround the college campus. A mere 3 hour afternoon time commitment is all that is asked to provide proof that our students are making a difference.

+SVCS(Student Volunteer Community Services)  CHILDRENS HOLIDAY PARTY

Campus: Fashion Institute of Technology
Contact Information: Deborah Payton-Jones
Phone number: 212-217-4140 office 631-383-1751 cell    Email Address: deborah_paytonjones@fitnyc.edu
Description:  The Annual SVCS Childrens Holiday Party:  Toys for tots, FIT Style, began over 15 years ago.  When space allowed, this event hosted hundreds of children and was held in the basement of the "A Building", including all hallways, as well as, the courtyard.  When construction began in these areas, I moved it to the  5th floor cafeteria.  Once construction began in that area,we no longer had a large enough area to accomodate the partnership for the Homeless and the over 300 children that were served at each of our events.  In addition to the children, we also had over 200 volunteers.  These volunteers were comprised of the FIT family and those that give public service to the partnership for the Homeless.  We no longer  had a space large enough to host over 500 people and create a station to wrap gifts and take photos with each child. To continue this tradition, we now have the Textile department continue to make scarves for us to distribute to the children. Students volunteer to be elves and distribute toys, food and help facilitate the arts and crafts area.  We have children that are from a pre-school in queens.  These tykes are precious and the students enjoy bringing the holiday spirit to them.  This year we are making it even more special.  The children from local pre-school will arrive, brunch will be served, caracutures and photo lucite trophies will be created for each child to present to their parents and the Gospel Choir is co-sponsoring it.  The choir will sing caroles with the children and we have elf costumes for all volunteers.  Santa will again make his appearance for the children.  Afterwards, the choir is sponsoring a cookie social for all clubs.  This is a way to have caroles sung, cookies consumed and the joy of celebration spread throughout all 75 of our student groups.   A new tradition!

+SVCS (Student Volunteer Community Services) MULTIGENERATIONAL EVENT

Campus: Fashion Institute of Technology
Contact Information: Deborah Payton-Jones
Phone number: 212-217-4140 office 631-383-1751            Email Address: deborah_paytonjones@fitnyc.edu
Description:  The Multigenerational event, began as an idea to help new students become acclimated to the college environment, while endearing them to children and senior citizens.  This was designed to resemble their home environment and ease some of the home sickness associated with the first weeks of classes.  We have been very successful in bridging that gap.  Students have stated that this was the best event they have ever attended.  They return year after year to this event to make sure that other students (new) know how much this event means to them (upper classmen). Senior citizens from the Penn South Center for Seniors, pre-school children, Girl Scouts and youth groups have been invited to complete the multigeneration ageline.  They enjoy a meal, have make-up applied, play bingo, do arts & crafts, enjoy music, have dance lessons and leave with goody bags and caracutures to complete the experience. (This is held once or twice yearly)

+SVCS BREAST CANCER WALK

Campus: Fashion Institute of Technology
Contact Information: Deborah Payton-Jones
Phone number: 212-217-4140 office 631-383-1751 cell    Email Address: deborah_paytonjones@fitnyc.edu
Description:  The SVCS Breast Cancer Walk was an event that grew out of the SVCS Volunteer Expo.  Approximately 10 years ago, the American Cancer Society accepted our invitation to have a table at the Volunteer Expo.  Over 100 students signed up to walk in the the walk that was to be held in Central Park.  They were asked to meet in Central Park and walk as a team.  As students, staff, and faculty began to inquire about this event, I decided to have t-shirts made and allow FIT to be a visible group in the walk.  The following year I decided that in order to be visible in the winter of NYC, we needed a makeover.  We have made hand paddles, large posters, necklaces and a variety of other catchy items.  The most successful and visible item has been our pink drawstring backpacks.  These are multi-functional and are very pleasing to look at.  We coupled those backpacks this year with pink and white umbrellas.  We had over 250 people walk in this years walk, while in a rain storm.  To help ensure the success of this event, I had a charter bus shuttle students, beginning at 7:30 a.m., to the meeting spot in Central Park.  We joined thousands of New Yorkers in Public Service, spreading information and ceating excitment towards finding a cure.

+Tree Planting

Campus: The College at Brockport,  State University of New York
Contact Information: Dr. Kathryn F. Wilson, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
Phone number: 585-395-2137                                    Email Address: kwilson@brockport.edu
Description:  The most recent Brockport graduating class joins the 50th class to plant trees along Alumni Walk to commemorate their graduation from the College.  This is a tradition that takes place during Homecoming Weekend at The College at Brockport.

+Volunteer and Service Learning Celebration of Service

Campus: Buffalo State College
Contact Information: Laura Hill Rao, Coordinator, Volunteer and Service-Learning Center Career Development Center
Phone number: 716-878-5811                                    Email Address: hilla@buffalostate.edu

Description:  The Celebration of Service recognizes students, faculty, and community partners who have participated in volunteer and service-learning activities during each academic year. Begun in 2004, and currently held at the end of each academic year, the event invites faculty, students, administration, and community partners to celebrate service conducted in partnership between the campus and community. A visual and poster presentation allows students and faculty to showcase service-learning activities, and awards presented to recognize outstanding achievement in service-learning projects and volunteer activities.
+Welcome Wagon

Campus: Stony Brook
Contact Information: Alan deVries
Phone number: 631-632-6750                                    Email Address: adevries@notes.cc.sunysb.edu
Description:  The Welcome Wagon Program, a Stony Brook tradition since the mid 1980s encourages returning students, Faculty and staff to help welcome the new resident students to the campus and the residence halls on move in day. Specifically, volunteers are assigned to each of Stony Brooks 26 undergraduate residence halls to greet new residents as they arrive, help unload their vehicle(s), assist the students in moving their belongings to their residence hall room and answer any specific questions they may have about the Stony Brook campus.  From very humble beginnings the Welcome Wagon Program has grown to over 350 volunteers each year and has become a popular service program for several clubs and organizations on campus.