Representatives from nearly 80 student-run and community-based service organizations squeezed into the ground floor of Dwight Chapel last night in an effort to recruit students to their ranks.
Dwight Hall’s Spring Bazaar for Service and Advocacy was planned as an opportunity for diverse educational and social justice groups to inform students interested in community service about Dwight Hall’s activities in New Haven, Dwight Hall Executive Committee Co-Coordinator Helena Herring ’07 said. “There are so many groups,” Herring said. “There’s something here for everyone. When someone walks in I can direct them to whatever group best fits their skills and interests.”
Some volunteers said they remembered the bazaar being more crowded in earlier years. Stephanie Brockman ’08, who manned a table for Youth Reading Corps, a tutoring group that brings Yale students to local elementary schools, said her main aim was to inform students who stopped at her booth of her organization’s activities, though turnout at the bazaar was lower than she had been hoping.
“There haven’t been that many people,” she said. “I remember the bazaar being a little more crowded last year.”
But Dwight Hall Coordinator of Public Relations Justin Ash ’07 said he was pleased both with the number of people attending the bazaar and the level of student involvement in Dwight Hall programs in the fall.
“We’d always like to have more people involved,” he said. “But that’s the case with every organization. We’ve been happy with the big turnout.”
Ash is a former Production and Design Editor for the News.
Ally Brundige ’02, an organizer at the nonprofit Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership, said she set up a table at Dwight Chapel this year because she has been disappointed that the tutoring and mentoring program has been unable to attract any Yalies this year. Founded in 1992, LEAP works with New Haven public school students to provide students with counseling and help with their school work.
“I did it as a Yale student, and it was the best thing I ever did,” Brundige said. “It was a life-shaping experience for me in many ways. At our founding we had high levels of involvement, but currently we have zero Yalies. There’s been a real decline.”
Brundige said she is proud that all 17 of the high school seniors enrolled in the program will be matriculating at colleges next year. She said she thinks Yale students have unique backgrounds and educational experiences that would be an asset to LEAP.
Yale Students for UNICEF volunteer Rosh Sethi ’09 said he informed students who approached him of the organization’s efforts to educate public school students about UNICEF’s worldwide activities and tried to gather student support for the organization.
“We don’t try to solicit people,” Sethi said. “They come over on their own, and we give them basic information about what UNICEF does.”
Students who came to the bazaar looking for ways to contribute to New Haven said they found the event useful.
“I found a couple of organizations that I’m interested in, like [the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project],” Alexis Fleckenstein ’07 said. “I want to get involved in something weekly that benefits the community. It’s something I did before I came to college, and I want to take it back up now.”