The first week of the fall semester for students at Clayton State University wrapped up with a day to giving back. Campus Life held its first-ever Service Fest, a day to bring together students, alumni, and leaders from Greek organizations, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, the NAACP, and the Housing and Residence Life department to carry out the University’s mission of community engagement.
“We’ve done Party for Good or other events that were similar, but this year we really put it on our student organizations to bring the service to the campus,” Jasmine Chinnery, AmeriCorps program coordinator.
Students participated in a number of projects, including making sandwiches to donate to the food bank to help the homeless, putting together toiletry bags for girls attending Forest Park High School, and creating chemotherapy bags to deliver to patients at local hospitals.
“Anytime you can help improve someone’s life, it feels good,” said Thai Collier, a resident assistant at Laker Hall.
Ahad Mahdi, a junior and member of the student chapter of the NAACP, helped paint motivational rocks to give to kids at a local nonprofit.
“I want to be in a position to encourage the youth,” he said. “It means everything to me to make a difference in my community because it’s all about making home better before we can make the world better.”
Chinnery said Service Fest is one of many programs under the new Campus Life initiative, Service Matters. Each month, Campus Life will host a different service project and welcomes faculty, staff, and students to participate.
Upcoming events include a cleanup project with Trees Atlanta in September. In October, Campus Life will partner with Lost-n-Found, a group that supports LGBT youth, to help with their consignment shop in celebration of National LGBT history month in October.
And in November, Campus Life will team up with Hosea Feed The Hungry to combat hunger and homelessness.
“It just ties into the mission of Clayton State to make sure that we’re service-oriented and pushing that message out to the entire campus,” Chinnery said.
Service Fest is just one of the activities students had a chance to participate in to kick off the new school year. Campus Life hosted a pool party, paint wars, and film screening of Black Panther during the week of Aug. 12 as part of its Weeks of Welcome event lineup for the month of August.
Developed around a theme of “The CSU Amazing Race,” students both new and old are encouraged to come out to learn how they can get involved on campus, as well as socialize with other students. Weeks of Welcome ends Aug. 24.
The class of 2022 was welcomed into the Laker family on Aug. 10 with the New Student Convocation. Faculty, staff, and alumni offered freshman students words of encouragement as they start their college journey.
“The incoming freshman class comes in with great potential to learn and grow, and to expand their sense of individuality alongside many standing set of experiences that center on a sense of belonging to this alma mater,” said Dr. Tim Hynes, president of Clayton State University.