The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Service day kicks off homecoming

Hundreds of students gathered in SMU’s main quadrangle Saturday before heading out to sites across Dallas for the annual Community Service Day and official Homecoming week kickoff.

“I really like having the opportunity to help those less fortunate than myself and reach out to the Dallas community,” junior Dorothy Stancil said. “It is a great SMU tradition.”

Community Service Day began in the 1960s, but the program became a part of Homecoming week three years ago, according to Jennifer Wells, community relations coordinator for SMU’s Leadership and Community Involvement Office. Students Promoting Awareness, Responsibility, and Citizenship sponsor the event.

President R. Gerald Turner came to the registration and barbecue before the event.

“Service gives you the opportunity to see the struggles some that were not as fortunate as you growing up have,” Turner said.

Student organizations participating in Homecoming receive spirit points for attending the Community Service Day, but it is open to anyone wanting to participate.

“It is a good opportunity to help in the community, and at the same time, support my sorority and homecoming candidate,” junior Anne Lowery said.

Students went to retirement homes, worked with animals, repaired senior citizens’ homes and worked with underprivileged children at sites throughout Dallas. Four hundred and seventy people signed up, including student organization members, other individuals and staff members.

“This week, when I am out in the community, I will hear about all of the students participating today,” Turner said. “I will be very proud to say: ‘Yes, they were there, and there were a good number of them.'”

SPARC is a community service organization. It serves to develop socially conscious citizens and connect them to their communities through education, action and reflection, according to the SPARC mission statement.

“I hope students see the bigger picture of the community and realize that there are people out there in desperate need of the gifts and talents we have,” SPARC Advisor Wells said.

Stancil’s group was going to a retirement home.

“I hope to brighten their day,” art history major Stancil said. “This is my second year, and I really enjoyed it last year, so I came back.”

Wells said SPARC will conduct a reflection when students return from the sites.

“I hope they stop and think about what they did and want to go back,” Wells said.

Students who want to continue volunteering can visit Wells in the LCI office on the third floor of Hughes-Trigg Student Center. She said she works to connect students with organizations and volunteer opportunities in their field of interest, and there are always opportunities available.

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