On Tuesday, April 24, UW students will be surrounded by service opportunities as they move throughout campus.
The third-annual All-Campus Day of Service will allow students to explore the many ways to engage with public service in the Madison community. Opportunities, including direct service, philanthropy, advocacy, community discourse and politics, will give students a chance to establish a foundation for continued service.
As a partnership between the Morgridge Center for Public Service, the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board (WASB) and American Family Insurance, students this year will be encouraged to ask themselves, ‘what does the world need from you?’ all while learning about, reflecting on and engaging with issues facing their community.
“This year’s theme is meant to encourage students to reflect on how they can use their unique abilities and capacities to contribute to their communities,” Anna Walther, co-coordinator of All-Campus Day of Service and Outreach Intern at the Morgridge Center, said. “It is meant to help students understand that there are many different worlds you can contribute to, and there are many wonderful things they can contribute to the world, regardless of who you are, how much time you have, where you come from or what your talents are.”
UW-Madison students, staff and faculty will be able to engage with different forms of service simply by walking around campus throughout the day on April 24, but students can also be part of the day by signing up for a direct service opportunity in advance.
“This day has the intention of getting students to reflect on all of the different ways they can make a positive change in their communities,” Walther said. “The day includes a variety of activities that incorporate various forms of service centered around the themes of sustainability, social justice and health and wellness.”
Throughout the day, students will have the opportunity to give blood at a bipartisan blood drive hosted by College Democrats and College Republicans of UW-Madison, participate in creating sustainable art at Wheelhouse Studios or attend the After School Special for a free, informal networking lunch hosted by Campus Kitchens to learn how service and social justice can be incorporated in a variety of career paths.
The Day of Service also showcases a “give a little, get a little” attitude. Students will be able to receive a free plant from F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture by donating a food or personal hygiene product to The Open Seat, UW-Madison’s food pantry. By donating crayons or other art supplies to American Family Children’s Hospital, students will also have an opportunity to take personal photos with a few local UW celebrities: Mark Tauscher, former Packers’ offensive tackle/2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year, and Greg Gard, UW men’s basketball coach.
“There’s a little something for everyone,” Walther said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to break out of the day-to-day routine and learn about all of the different ways that you can engage in public service. We have around 25 events this year, so chances are, each student will find something that really strikes a chord with them.”
Additionally, the event is partnering with the Campus Conversation Challenge of Ask Big Questions, a project that aims to inspire more intentional reflection and stronger conversations about contentious topics. Tables will be located around campus to engage students in these discussions through activities and conversation.
Although the event is titled as a “Day of Service,” it hopes to inspire action beyond just one day and leave students thinking about how they can incorporate various forms of service into their everyday lives.
“This is truly a great opportunity to break out of your day-to-day routine and find easy ways to engage in your community that you can easily continue doing on a regular basis,” Walther said.
All-Campus Day of Service hopes to bring visibility to the idea that even UW-Madison students are community members and that their community extended well beyond campus borders. So, what does the world need from you?