Above: College professional staff serve at “Saturday’s Bread” hot meal program in Oneonta. Matthew Barney: photo
SUNY Cobleskill kicked off the Winter 2019 semester by continuing its commitment to public outreach and support. Through recent initiatives such as SUNY Cobleskill University Police’s “Food for Fines” campaign, and independent service projects led by SUNY Cobleskill Greek Life, the impact members of our community are contributing to public programs is growing steadily. Paying it forward may begin on campus, though increasingly it is extending into our area communities.
Since 2011, the Downtown Dollars Program has opened doors for those at SUNY Cobleskill to make purchases at businesses in the Cobleskill community. SUNY Cobleskill Auxiliary Services (CAS) oversees the program, which has grown annually in eight years of existence, and has made it possible for members of the campus community to contribute more than $1.6 million to the regional economy. Restaurants, shops, and suppliers are among those the program benefits.
Greek Life at SUNY Cobleskill is also serving our area communities. Throughout the Fall 2018 semester, the Alpha Gamma Rho colony performed volunteer service at the Iroquois Indian Museum. Student-participants performed projects ranging from exhibit preparation to building maintenance. More than 20 students volunteered 10 or more hours of service, building outreach and curatorial skills in their support of local arts and culture.
SUNY Cobleskill University Police pitched into the College’s commitment to service by implementing its “Food for Fines” campaign. In exchange for voided parking tickets issued by the department, individuals were encouraged to contribute non-perishable food items for donation to the Catholic Charities of Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties food pantry. University Police collected more than 400 non-perishable items in one week. “Food for Fines” preceded campus-wide food and personal care item drives in November, December, and January, collecting items and monetary contributions for local pantries and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
In December, President Terenzio sent the “10 Gallon Challenge” sweeping through SUNY and beyond. After Commissioner Richard A. Ball of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets challenged President Terenzio to bring 10 gallons of milk to a pantry in our community, President Terenzio passed the challenge on to her SUNY colleagues. Among SUNY schools and their presidents to complete the challenge after President Terenzio and SUNY Cobleskill are SUNY Albany, Adirondack, Empire State, Brockport, and Hudson Valley Community College. SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson also completed President Terenzio’s challenge.
SUNY Cobleskill held Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service on January 21, coinciding with Martin Luther King Day and the start of the semester. Service activities and public discussions aimed at generating constructive, thought-provoking conversations spanned the day, and the campus-wide food drive remained open. SUNY Cobleskill raised more than $1,150 for local pantries – a total sufficient for a pantry to purchase more than 7,250 lbs. (or 3.6 tons) of food. Read more about the Day of Service here.
As the semester continues, a winter coat drive, blood drive, Earth Day tree plantings, and additional outreach programs are scheduled. Each will serve to enhance SUNY Cobleskill’s growing capacity to support its area communities. For information about future events and initiatives, visit https://www.cobleskill.edu/community/community-engagement/index.aspx.