AU students to take lead in city cleanup

Wed, 2009-08-26 14:22 -- univcomm
August 26, 2009

Less than a year after it opened, the blue Kennedy Crossing bridge over White River has already become a victim of graffiti vandals.

The bridge is among a list of places in the city that are to be cleaned as part of an Aug. 29 effort to pick up trash and spruce up areas involving city officials and about 400 incoming Anderson University freshmen.

service_projTraditionally, AU freshmen perform community service as part of their college orientation. [Photo on left: 2008 service project]

But this year, other residents can get involved in the effort as trash-cleaning teams in the “100-lb. Challenge” sponsored by Global Student Solutions.

The national nonprofit agency is seeking volunteers to raise cash and pick up 30,000 pounds of trash on Saturday.

The event is similar to a walkathon but participants will seek sponsors to pledge funds per pound of trash, said GSS president Scott Martin. Half of the funds raised will go to GSS and the other half will fund participants’ projects.

GSS is hoping to purchase an Anderson house and hold retreats for global students from around the country, Martin said.

To join the 100-lb. Challenge, volunteers can go to www.globalstudentweb.org. Teams will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at Athletic Park.

Martin was among 13 people who gathered Friday in the Anderson City Building to plan the cleanup.

The city is relying on its Anderson Quality of Life Team, or AQUILT, to link together various offices and agencies to keep the project ongoing, said Lori Sylvester of Anderson Indiana Main Street (AIMS).

The city is organizing various service groups into a committee so they can network better, Sylvester said. The effort is to unite service groups like a quilt, she said.

About 400 Anderson University students are expected to participate, said Dean Branson, director of student programs for Anderson University. Each year, Anderson University students conduct about 32,000 hours of service to the community, campus and other efforts, he said.

According to Branson, this year’s orientation will focus on the more popular events from previous years. New students can look forward to traditional favorites, such as the freshman hike, ice cream social in the valley and the Meijer Extravaganza. This year’s initial night reception will be held at Pioneer Rock, with a section of the adjacent street closed to traffic.

This year also marks the founding of a new mentoring program. Along with family group leaders, older students will take positions of peer mentoring. These organizers will extend the work of family group leaders throughout the school year, offering advice and camaraderie to new students.

The weekend ends on Sunday, August 30, with students visiting their family group mentors followed by an outdoor showing of the recent “Star Trek” film.

For a detailed schedule of orientation events, check out New Student Orientation, which begins Thursday, Aug. 27.

- Story reprinted with permission from The Herald Bulletin.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.