Cline has assigned this project every semester since coming to Culver-Stockton in 2007 and also has had success with it at other colleges, with students doing everything from raising money, to putting on plays and concerts, to posting YouTube videos; but Cline says, this semester has shaped up to be one of the best yet.
“This semester students were very willing and excited about the project,” said Cline, adding that students formed three groups to focus on various projects.
Ashley Berry, Amanda Hanlin, Christina Klataske, Jessica Logsdon, and William Steinbeck raised money and took donations to send care packages to American troops overseas.
“We wanted to involve the community and help them to not forget about the soldiers that are over there, because they are less represented in the media,” said Klataske during the group’s final class presentation.
The group posted flyers around the C-SC campus and in the surrounding community. They also spread the word by mouth in and around the Canton area. They set up a table during the lunch hour, asking students for spare change. The group left donation boxes for food, entertainment, and hygiene products in the C-SC library, a local Canton business, and at a local daycare. They involved the Canton grade school by having students write letters and draw pictures for the soldiers overseas. They then collected the letters and pictures and will be sending them to soldiers. They even placed an ad in the local Canton newspaper asking for donations and leaving a contact e-mail address hoping to get names of local soldiers to whom they could send the packages.
In the end, the students received enough donations to send three care packages. They also were able to acquire three soldiers’ names from the area who are serving overseas who will receive the care packages.
“The e-mails we received were very touching, and people were very thankful that we were doing something like this,” said Hanlin.
“We hope to be able to keep in touch with the soldiers to whom we are sending the packages, just so they know that we are still here and that we care about them,” added Berry.
Other students – Katie Harris, Amber Shipman, Stephanie Kopff, and Tammy Buckner – chose to help raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, for their project.
“We should care about this because it could happen here, and it’s unethical to let something like this happen in another country,” said Buckner.
To raise awareness on campus, they not only placed flyers but set out postcards on the lunch tables in the C-SC dining room asking students to write messages describing their feelings about the genocide. The group later collected and sent the messages to the Save Darfur Coalition, which will forward them to the U.S. president and the UN secretary general. The group also made a video and posted it on YouTube.
“The video got responses from both sides, some people seemed very appreciative and others seemed to feel that we should only care about what is going on in the U.S.,” said Harris.
The group explained to the class what genocide is, why it is happening in Darfur and what the United States is currently doing about it. The students said they believe their project helped make more students aware of the situation in Darfur and inspired more people to get involved in trying to stop the genocide.
The third student group – Mindy Smith, Brittany Hilderbrand, Shelby LaBonte, and Katie Gutheil – hosted a week-long clothing drive on the C-SC campus to help collect clothes for people in need.
“We chose to do this because the weather is getting colder, and we wanted to help the less fortunate stay warm,” said Smith.
In addition to a flyer and poster campaign on campus, the students verbally spread the word about the clothing drive. The students said campus is the ideal location for a clothing drive because students always overpack when coming to college and often bring things that they don’t need or that they never wear. The clothing drive gave them the chance to get rid of the excess. The group had a great response from the C-SC faculty and staff as well as from students.
“We can’t even describe how big of a response we had, there were piles and piles of clothes,” said Smith.
The group donated the clothes to Father Bills and MainSpring, a group that helps the homeless get back on their feet.
“I feel that these groups did very well, and I am proud of them,” said Cline. “This is what EXP@CSC is all about, getting outside of the classroom and doing real-world stuff. I think it is pretty cool to see these kids putting what they learned in class into practice. They have exceeded the assignment in a very special way.”
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