SUNY Cobleskill Students Connect with the Community Through Volunteerism

With the SUNY Cobleskill Fall 2014 semester abuzz, a weekend highlighting community engagement ramped students up for another exciting year of community service ahead. The festivities commenced on Friday, August 22nd with the Community Engagement Fair, followed by the Center for Community Engagement’s 5th Annual Community Engagement Day, held on Sunday, August 24th. During both events, sponsored by the SUNY Cobleskill Center for Community Engagement, newly arrived and returning students alike were introduced to the vast opportunities in which they can engage with the campus and local community throughout the academic year.

The 2014 Community Engagement Fair, which took place on the SUNY Cobleskill campus, presented student attendees with diverse engagement prospects available to them throughout the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters. Informational booths showcased possibilities for students to partake in various service endeavors including the SUNY Cobleskill Community Service Club, S.A.L.T – Schoharie Area Longterm Recovery, Inc., the Cobleskill Village Tree Committee, the Empty Bowls Fundraiser, and the Cinderella Project.

Transitioning from educating to activity was seamless as students participated in the 5th Annual Community Engagement Day. Teams of volunteers dedicated their time to several service activities throughout the SUNY Cobleskill and Schoharie County communities. Service projects within the Community Engagement Day included maintenance at the Landis Arboretum, painting at Teen Town, and a car wash at Ace Hardware where the proceeds benefitted a local veteran’s flood restoration project.

“The act of helping others should be valued and promoted. Community Engagement Day is a win-win opportunity for both SUNY students as well as for the Village of Cobleskill,” remarks Mayor Linda V. Holmes, of the Village of Cobleskill. “Not only does it forge a strong connection between the campus community and the Village of Cobleskill, but it enhances the value of what it means to be part of a neighborhood,”

Prior to both events, faculty, staff and students alike embarked on various large-scale service efforts, reflecting the campus’ commitment to volunteerism. SUNY Cobleskill Residential Life members traveled to the Patroon Farm in Altamont to help process vegetables for use by the Northeast Regional Food Bank. Campus orientation leaders donated an afternoon of service to help spruce up Veterans Memorial Center Park. Merits students, alongside their advisors, completed service projects including playground maintenance at Head Start, dog walking at the Schoharie Valley Animal Shelter, and landscaping improvements in front of SUNY Cobleskill’s Vroman Hall.

“The enthusiasm and generosity showcased by all who participated is a sure sign we are in for our best year yet of community engagement!” remarked Brian Kaiser, Director of the Center for Community Engagement at SUNY Cobleskill.