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Students Spring Into Service

All-campus service day includes projects in Evanston and Chicago

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June 6, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. --- About 300 Northwestern students fanned out recently to more than 30 sites in Evanston and Chicago for the University’s second annual service day called NU Gives Back.

Volunteers mobilized for service, clad in shorts and matching t-shirts on an unusually warm May morning, receiving a send-off from President Morton Schapiro. Their efforts, he said, reflect the qualities that helped them gain admission to Northwestern in the first place.

New students are required to participate in a similar service day day during Wildcat Welcome orientation in September. But NU Gives Back is a voluntary event that organizers hope will become an annual campus tradition.

Junior Kira Hooks, president of NU Gives Back, explained the idea is to infuse into the Northwestern culture a service event that brings students together in the same way as Dance Marathon, a football game or a concert.

“Northwestern can be a place where everyone has a different experience, depending on where you live, where your classes are or what activities you do,” Hooks said. “And that’s part of what makes this a great school for so many people. But we hope NU Gives Back can become a rallying point, a chance to say, ‘We’re all Northwestern students.’”

This year’s volunteers worked at service sites in Evanston that included the Talking Farm at Independence Park, the Evanston Ecology Center, the McGaw YMCA, Family Focus and the Rebuilding Warehouse.

Topics: Neighborhood