By Chris Fortson
Students who decide to participate in the Yale College Council’s April 24 Community Service Day may find themselves working beside Vice President for Finance and Administration John Pepper, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg and other familiar faces.
During Community Service Day, Yale community members will work on projects including cleaning East Rock trails, painting buildings, and distributing books to the New Haven community. The event will be co-sponsored by the YCC, Alpha Phi Omega, Dwight Hall, the McDougal Center, the Office of Finance and Administration, the Office of New Haven and State Affairs, and the United Way.
YCC Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said Yalies will be able to sign up on YaleStation early next week and indicate which projects they prefer. Participants will get a T-shirt, breakfast and snacks, he said.
YCC President Elliott Mogul ’05 said the council originally hoped to get 250 students, faculty, staff and administrators to participate. But he said based on initial reactions to the idea, the final number could exceed that.
“It actually looks like it might be bigger participation,” Mogul said.
New Haven and State Affairs Program Director Reggie Solomon said the YCC wants “to engage the community” in a new way. He said many of the projects will be helpful, even though they will not require much time to complete.
“A lot of these entities need a one-day fix,” Solomon, who plans to attend the event, said.
Manager of Volunteer Services for the United Way of Greater New Haven Nancy Burke said two YCC officers originally approached her with the idea. She said she suggested a few projects for the day.
“I love the idea that students, faculty and staff are involved in team-building and going out to the community to give something back,” Burke said.
Solomon said he thinks the event will be popular.
“Our students are some of the best ambassadors for the University,” he said.
Mogul recommended students get together with friends for the day.
“Once you’re with friends, any of the projects on the list will be fun,” Mogul said.
Trachtenberg said she hopes to attend the event.
“I would like to paint,” she said. “I’m a pretty good painter.”
Graduate Student Assembly Vice Chair Steven Becker GRD ’06, who is also a member of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, said the YCC’s event could be coordinated with the GSA-GPSS field day event on April 24. He said the YCC, the GSA and the GPSS may work together to arrange lunch for participants in both events.
The field day will raise money for the Columbus House, GPSS President Jason Marshall SOM ’04 said. He said money will be raised through corporate sponsorship and a participation fee required for students who wish to play “cheesy elementary school events” like tug-of-war.