Record participation in Freshman service day

If they were tired from hours of lugging boxes, the 202 freshmen who spent the day after moving into their residence halls doing volunteer work didn't show it. A record number of enthusiastic new students participated in SUNY Oneonta's sixth annual Freshman Service Day, organized by the college's nationally recognized Center for Social Responsibility and Community. Guided by 30 upperclassmen and two faculty mentors, the students spent their first full day in Oneonta performing community service at 19 sites.

Some students paddled canoes through an Oneonta wetland and worked with the Otsego County Conservation Society to pull out invasive water chestnuts. Others helped teachers create bulletin boards, played Bingo with nursing home residents, and cleaned toys at an Oneonta preschool.

Besides helping new students meet friends, Freshman Service Day gives students a chance to get to know their community, and it often sets the stage for ongoing volunteer work. SUNY Oneonta students collectively volunteer more than 50,000 hours every year through the Center for Social Responsibility and Community in collaboration with nearly 100 different nonprofit agencies in Otsego County.

SUNY Oneonta senior Felicia Eddy, one of 30 Freshman Service Day volunteer mentors, visits with residents of the Hampshire House Adult Home.
Photo by Michael Forster Rothbart

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