Tuesday, July 23

First-ever Community Service Day sees low turnout


Service efforts included helping the homeless, planting trees

Students, community service organizations, and faculty members
gathered together Saturday to participate in UCLA’s first
Community Service Day ““ a day that drew fewer students than
expected.

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Students Association
Council’s Community Service Commission, Community Service Day
aimed at increasing the presence of community service on
campus.

Community Service Commissioner Justin Schreiber said the
event’s purpose was to let students know that doing community
service a couple of hours every week can make a huge
difference.

The day specifically aimed to reach those students who have been
involved in community service in the past, or students who are
interested in service but have not yet gotten involved.

Schreiber said many students who were actively involved in
community service during high school may not get involved in
college because of time constraints.

The majority of the day involved participating in some sort of
community service activity. Students spent the day planting trees
in Culver City, helping out in homeless shelters, cleaning up
beaches, and playing sports with students with developmental
disabilities.

The event attracted only 20 students, a far cry from the
capacity crowd of 200 people in Westwood Plaza that organizers of
the event had anticipated.

“Judging by Saturday’s turnout, we need to
definitely work on things like publicity,” said Assistant
Student Welfare Commissioner Art Ambrasio.

Jenny Wood, the head director of Dance Marathon, believes the
event was a success despite the low attendance.

“It was a great start for our campus to get more involved
with community service … next year the event will be just as
organized and a lot more people will come out to it,” Wood
said.

Though the event did not draw the expected number of students,
Schreiber believes if students were positively impacted, then the
event should be considered a success.

“Even if you’re only affecting some people, if the
students get involved later on, then it’s a success to
me,” Schreiber said.

Participants and organizers congregated Saturday morning in
Westwood Plaza where they heard opening addresses by speakers
including Rick Tuttle, a USAC administrative representative.

Students then, depending on their preference, were transferred
to a specific organization where they spent the day doing community
service. Organizations involved included Bruin Belles Service
Association, Special Olympics, and TreePeople.

Because of the low turnout, organizers of the event will meet in
coming weeks to discuss whether to hold a Community Service Day
next year.

“We definitely need to reassess whether we need to work on
doing better, or if (the event) is worthwhile to keep,”
Ambrasio said.

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