Benefits, volunteering show students do care

One of the most remarkable parts of a conversation with any Geneseo alumni is their invariable enthusiasm for their college memories. Regardless of how long ago they graduated, there are so many common experiences in the Geneseo culture that there is a bond between all students, past and present. These campus ties are solidified by the supportive environment we create for one another and the service that we provide to the community. Every day, Geneseo proves that it is a caring population with tremendous heart.

A current reminder of this is the outpouring of support for a student recently diagnosed with leukemia. A one-night fundraiser held in her honor a few weeks ago made over $2,000, an astounding amount for cash-strapped college students. A significant number of organizations are also planning fundraisers for this same community member. Many volunteer groups, Greeks, and even academic departments are contributing in any way they are able. Geneseo is small enough that when one student is in need, others see the problem as their own.

Another impressive facet of Geneseo life is the amount of volunteerism the campus engages in. Saturday, Oct. 13 was the annual Day of Caring, where Geneseo students go out into the town to help local residents with tasks from raking to cleaning - certainly a far cry from the drunken stereotype some residents are accustomed to. Also on Oct. 13, National Residence Hall Honorary hosted the Memory Walk at Doty Park, raising nearly $8,000 for Alzheimer's disease.

In addition to local service, Geneseo students support causes outside of our community. Livingston CARES sponsors an alternative spring break each year to Biloxi, Miss. to help rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The popular program continues to expand, now offering four different trips at various points in the year. Past participants in the trip are also taking their commitment to another level by forming StudentsCARE, a student organization to support Livingston CARES. Other groups such as FACE AIDS bring issues of national and international importance right to our campus.

Someday, when we are all alumni like the ones mentioned above, we too will display a great amount of pride in our alma mater. Not just because of our shared crazy weekends at the IB, or even because of the all-nighters we pulled to earn our A's - but because we graduated from a college full of caring and enthusiastic people. SUNY Geneseo intends to provide growth for its students as learners, but in these cases, we help each other to grow also as human beings.

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