They moved in on a Thursday afternoon. Two days later, approximately 400 new students were volunteering in the community for Seahawk Service Day.
Organized by senior Whittni Pickens, Seahawk Service Day included projects at Point Lookout State Park, Trinity Episcopal Church, Calvert Marine Museum, Historic St. Mary’s City, St. Mary’s River Watershed Association, Little Flower School, the theater film and media studies department and the College’s public safety office.
“Service is embedded in our St. Mary’s Way and it is a way of life for students here. By having the new students engage with the community before classes even begin, it jump-starts their passion and will to serve the surrounding community and the community within SMCM,” Pickens said.
Organizing the event was part of her professional fellowship through the St. Mary’s College Cares program.
St. Mary’s College Cares, formerly the Service and Social Change program, operates in response to the high degree of student interest in volunteerism, service, and social and environmental activism.
For Seahawk Service Day, first-year students were joined by 80 returning students made up of student-athletes and orientation leaders.
Kori Taber ’19, co-chair of orientation, said several first-year students indicated Seahawk Service Day was their favorite orientation event.
“They were able to see and work with aspects and organizations of the local community that they may not have been able to work with otherwise,” Taber said.
This is the second year the student-athlete advisory committee has participated in the service day.
Sam Coomes ’18, president of SAAC, said winter and spring athletes were given permission to move in a day early in order to help new students move in and to give athletes a chance to help out with other events during orientation.
“We just wanted to be there as friendly faces to the incoming students and be an additional resource for them as they transition into college,” he said.
Students interested in being considered for the 2018 service day are encouraged to email SMCCares@smcm.edu.
Photos courtesy of Sami Wright’18