Feb. 20, 2013 by Kate Carlisle
You’d be surprised by what people don’t know about Wesleyan’s community engagement and service programs.
Or, what people think they know.
“Students and others think that community service at Wesleyan is an individual, versus a university effort, or just one semester for one student, on their own,” said Cathy Lechowicz, director of the Center for Community Partnerships.
A new publicity campaign launched by the CCP last month aims to fix those misimpressions.
The reality is that Wesleyan has a broad community engagement plan that ranges from hiring local contractors and sourcing local food to providing volunteers to Middletown service agencies, Lechowicz said.
The publicity campaign, “Did You Know” highlights little-known facts about community engagement twice a week on WesLive Community Blog, the Middletown Eye and social media. “Like” the CCP’s Facebook site online here.
Dana Pellegrino ’12, who is spending the year as the CCP’s civic engagement fellow, hopes the campaign will draw attention not only to how Wesleyan students can participate in service projects, but to “the larger community engagement piece,” and how Wes interacts with the Middletown residents, businesses and agencies.
Among the first “Did You Know” facts:
*The Wesleyan Quantitative Analysis Center offers a course in which students provide free statistical consulting to local community service agencies.
*During the 2007 construction of the Usdan Center, the university hired more than 10 local labor companies.
*The Fast-a-Thon, an annual student run benefit, has raised more than $50,000 over the past five years to benefit Amazing Graze Food Pantry. Nearly half the student body participates.
Combining the assets of the Service-Learning Center, the Office of Community Service and Volunteerism, the Office of Community Relations and the Green Street Arts Center, the CCP seeks to serve the development of both the individual and the community, guided by principles of mutual respect and shared responsibility. See the CCP’s website for more information.