Community Service & Social Justice
– Crosby, Stills & Nash, ‘Raise a Voice’
Northern Arizona University. Texas Southern University. Umpqua Community College. Community College of Philadelphia.
What do students of these four schools have in common?
They all experienced some form of gun violence on their campuses within the past week.
St. Joe’s students were given a taste of this fear this past week, after discovering a threat on the site 4Chan directed at “Philadelphia area schools” posted over the weekend. It spoke of a “beta uprising” that had begun on the West Coast would continue on the East on Monday.
As mentioned previously in my About Me section, I am a freshmen here at SJU and hope to dive right into all of the fun things happening around campus. In order to do just this I have joined a club that I am particularly excited about, since it is technically not in my major, and allows me to broaden my horizons even more. The American Marketing Association (AMA) is a national club, and we are lucky to have our own branch here at SJU! Since joining this club I have attended meetings where speakers from companies such as Pepsi Co spoke,
Directionally challenged, a phrase I seem to have emulated my entire life. Coming from a small town, Philadelphia was definitely not going to be a walk in the park when it came down to actually going places. Due to this unfortunate attribute, I decided that an early move in program was a step in the right direction (pun intended). The early move in program I chose was PSIP (Philadelphia Service Immersion Program), where you travel in groups to different parts of Philadelphia to do service work.
My first day of PSIP was unbelievable! First we took the Septa to our service destination and after our day we once again waited at the bus stop to get back on campus.
The Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP) at SJU is a program I hold near and dear to my heart, and not just because it saved me a few hassles moving into my freshman dorm a few days early.
The early move-in program takes small groups of incoming freshmen to a service site in Philadelphia for three mornings straight (while using public transportation!)– the same site every day. In the afternoon, groups explore various fun places in Philadelphia, meet professors who take them on a tour of a Philly neighborhood, reflect on these experiences,
I pass my old dorm, wondering how I haven’t yet walked into it, swiped in, and taken the stairs to the third floor like I did all of last year. I walk around campus actually knowing where all of my classes are. I am already a part of organizations on campus and actually ran parts of Welcome Week and the Student Union Board table at the activities fair instead of just walking around enjoying all that the school has to offer.
It has been two weeks since I got back from my journey to the Appalachia Region, specifically Neon, Kentucky. Neon is about an 9 hour drive from Saint Joe’s campus (12 hours counting all of the pit stops).
As a freshman, I was very reluctant to sign up for the Appalachian Experience (APEX), because I did not know what to expect, I had never done a service retreat to that high of an extent, and I was not sure if I could handle more time away from my family and friends back at home.
There’s art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy…what about community service therapy?
One of the biggest characteristics about Saint Joe’s that set it apart from my previous university are all of its amazing community service opportunities. At my old school, any sort of service program was done primarily through Greek life, and if you were very non-Greeky like myself, then you would not be able to participate.
Being Jesuit, SJU promotes the help of others. This is done through multiple programs such as APEX, Collegiate Challenge, Weekly Service, and a variety of service learning courses.
Philadelphia Service Immersion Program or PSIP is a four day experience prior to move-in freshman year. The program allowed me to become acquainted with Saint Joseph’s community as well as the “City of Brotherly Love.”
After I received my acceptance letter and sent in my deposit to Saint Joseph’s, I was eager to get on campus as soon as possible. When I received an email about the Philadelphia Service Immersion Program, I was given the opportunity to move in a few days prior to everyone else.
There were around 100 freshmen that participated in the program.
– The Beatles, ‘Two of Us’
APEX has just recently come to an end. After spending my spring break doing service work in Hazard, Kentucky, I set foot once again on St. Joe’s campus this past Saturday evening. I was exhausted (I still am) after getting around a collective 20 hours of sleep during the weeklong trip. My muscles were sore from tearing up boards, hammering nails, swinging a sledgehammer, and crawling under a house to fix leaky pipes. I spent my break physically drained, hyped up on coffee and sugary cereal.
And it was one of the best weeks,
– Paul McCartney, ‘Heart of the Country’
Spring break is only five days away. Last year at this time, I was thrilled over the idea of heading home, hanging out with my family, indulging in home-cooked meals, sleeping for outrageous spans of time, and watching every movie I could think of starring Jeff Goldblum.
This time last year, I was also envious of my freshman classmates who were zealously planning and packing to go on APEX. For those who don’t know, APEX is a common abbreviation for the Appalachian Experience, a program that allows St. Joe’s students to volunteer in the Appalachian region during spring break.