Three-College Service Day a Success

WWU teams with Whitman and WWCC

By: Becky St. Clair

Students from WWU, Whitman College, and Walla Walla Community College teamed up on Sunday and spent the morning serving the community with various projects, including polishing statues along Main Street in Walla Walla. Photo by Eric Ashley.

On Sunday, April 19, Walla Walla University participated in a joint Community Service Day with both Whitman College and Walla Walla Community College.  The event was part of a special weekend of worship sponsored by WWU’s Campus Ministries.  

The theme of the weekend was “Revolution,” and started Thursday evening with a town hall meeting led by Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed.  The meeting on civics in action was entitled, “Find Your One Thing.”  Secretary Reed encouraged those present to find the one thing they do well and are passionate about, and be active; to make a difference.  

Other events throughout the weekend encouraged students, faculty, and staff to be a part of the revolution to make a difference in the world and give glory to God while doing it.  The joint service day and an Earth Day celebration event at Whitman College finished the weekend.

“This city-wide Service Day was a great opportunity to work with students from the three colleges here in town,” says Ellie Veverka.  Veverka worked closely with Lina Menard at Whitman College and Jaime Clarke at WWCC to plan the event.  The three organizers met several times prior to Service Day to coordinate efforts on all three campuses.

Over 300 students from the three schools worked on 25 projects throughout the city.  Projects included stream restoration, distributing energy-saving light bulbs, planting trees, picking up trash, painting, leading tours in museums, polishing Main Street artwork, and more.

“I’ve heard amazing feedback from our community partners, and the impact of the day was profound,” says Carole Wilson, community outreach intern and senior sociology major at Whitman College.  “Each project was finished, and those who participated deserve a huge thank you!”

Following the service project portion of the day, students returned to the Whitman College campus for their annual Earth Day celebration.  The event featured food, booths promoting going green, solar-powered s’mores cookers, and WWU’s own Steel Drum Band.

“I hope this becomes an annual tradition,” says Amy Strauss, senior biology and environmental studies major at Whitman College.  “The day was a huge success, and I think our three schools need to come together more often.”

There is already much talk about doing something similar to this next year.  The plan is to allow all three colleges the opportunity to host the event on their campus, and to continue to foster the relationships that were started on Sunday.

“It was great seeing students from various backgrounds working together to better the community,” says Evan Kinne, ASWWU president.  “I hope this event becomes part of a tradition centered on stronger inter-campus relationships and service to the greater community.”

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