Office of Public Affairs
(315) 341-2265
Jan. 31, 2001
OSWEGO -- Residents and staff of SUNY Oswego's Hart Hall have taken a new approach to community service this year, and it's working.
"Doing community service in an organized program that works within our community helps people get more involved," said Kathy McDonald, a senior who took part in a food drive, one of many community service projects involving Hart Hall residents.
As a part of the living agreement for Hart Hall, students are required to complete 10 hours of community service a semester. Students were previously required to look for community service projects on their own time and use their hours at their convenience. But this year, Hart Hall residents and staff decided to try to move away from a strict hour requirement and focus more on project participation.
Last summer, Hart Hall students were surveyed for ideas and interests for their required community service projects. They identified such issues as education, hunger, homelessness and literacy.
The students decided to form a community service advisory committee, which would advise new leadership in the hall. They would decide what service they wanted to provide and gather students with interests in the project. They would initiate these service projects and draw students together to work beyond their 10-hour commitment.
"So far the students have done a great job," Hart Hall Director Rina Hernandez said. "It is good to have student representation with the programs and having them do what they want to do."
Last semester they raised money and awareness for breast cancer and are currently collecting clothing, food and school supply donations for the community.
Around 12 Hart students conducted the school supply program. They asked for donations of any type of school supplies that were expendable. "It was around Christmas, and it was a good time to collect goods for the less fortunate," junior and service advisory committee member Lauren Bonnano said.
Another one of the programs they developed involved a food drive. About 15 students went through Hart Hall asking other students for food donations. They also received donations from other residence halls and obtained a large number of donated items in all.
Hart Hall also added two independent study courses that involve community service. One course allows students to develop and implement a service project, while the other allows for the development and implementation of an education program.
Students developed programs such as Kids Night Out, after school tutoring at Riley Elementary School and caroling at Pontiac Nursing Home.
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CONTACT: Hart Hall Director Rina Hernandez, 312-4200

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