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All Campus Day of Service UW-Madison

All Campus Day of Service is April 27

Posted Apr 25, 2016


On Wednesday, April 27, UW-Madison students won’t be able to move about campus without running into public service and civic engagement.

That’s the idea behind the first-ever All Campus Day of Service, hosted by the Morgridge Center for Public Service along with the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board’s All Campus Party.

But this is not your traditional day of service.

“I think that traditionally the approach that a lot people take to a day of service is it being only a single day of service. But how can we make sure that this event inspires more lasting service as opposed to just a single day of service?” said UW-Madison senior and Morgridge Center campus outreach intern Kelsey Beuning, who has lead the effort to get the event off the ground.

“You hear stories like companies that send people to volunteer and paint a wall and later the nonprofit paints over the wall because it wasn’t actually helpful,” said senior Adam Beer, a peer advisor with the Morgridge Center. “I think we kind of took the opposite approach with this and instead of thinking what we could get out of it, we thought what does the community need? Basically from the get-go, we realized that we would not have an event if we didn’t reach out first to our community partners and figure out what they needed.”

Senior Liz Hamel, also a peer advisor at the Morgridge Center says the day is also focused far beyond what many typically think when they hear the word ‘service.’

“That’s another big part of it. We didn’t want to just focus on direct service, because I think that’s what a lot of people think when they talk about service. But the fact of the matter is that I don’t think direct service is for everybody, but there are still other ways to be civically involved and to get involved in service that don’t involve volunteering at all.”

The Day of Service developed opportunities based on a model from Stanford University: The Pathyways of Public Service, which emphasizes service in six categories: Direct service, community-engaged learning and research, activism, philanthropy, policy/politics and social entrepreneurship.

Highlights from UW-Madison’s All Campus Day of Service include:

  • A bipartisan blood drive co-hosted by College Republicans and College Democrats that will also focus on voter registration and voter ID distribution

  • Bowl smashing in Library Mall to support future Habitat for Humanity projects

  • Tables around campus that ask students to engage with “big questions” surrounding important community topics

  • Social justice and domestic violence advocacy opportunities

  • A food and personal hygiene product drive

  • Social Entrepreneurons” at the Discovery Building, an event exploring entrepreneurship for social good

Some opportunities require students to pre-register. Other opportunities will be ongoing throughout the day and open for anyone to participate in on the spot. Students can find all of the opportunities online at

Beuning first had the idea for the event when she visited a friend at the University of Minnesota her sophomore year and learned about their own day of service. Last fall, she raised the idea with fellow interns at the Morgridge Center, many who jumped at the chance to make the event a reality.

Asked what she’s most excited for, Beuning jokes, “I’m really excited for it not to rain.” More seriously though, Beuning and the dozens of other students involved in the event hope it can be a transformative day.

“We hope this it not just a single day, but a day that raises awareness that serves as a stepping stone for service.”