Apr 182010
Authors: Justyna Tomtas

In an effort to make the world a better place, thousands of CSU students spread out into the community with helping hands on Saturday, ready to volunteer.

CSUnity, a one-day volunteering extravaganza, reeled in 2,000 CSU students and alumni, engaging volunteers in a range of activities, from planting trees to painting and visiting with senior citizens in the community.

The event, hosted by Student Leadership Involvement and Community Engagement, SLiCE, is in its 14th year, serving hundreds of community members, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

“(CSUnity) meets the community’s needs, which is a huge benefit. It’s a nice way for CSU students to reach out to the broader Fort Collins community and Larimer County community and make a positive impact,” said Jen Johnson, SLiCE assistant director.

Robert Keith, a junior art major, spent the day setting up prom for disabled children at a local high school. The transfer student said that this was a good opportunity for him to get out into the community and familiarize himself with it while participating for a good cause.

“Since I’m new here, it’s a good opportunity to get out into the community, meet people and help out,” Keith said.

The Christian college ministry, the Navigators, set out for a much different cause: Helping a local elderly woman in her backyard by cleaning up.

Jenni Pedersen, sophomore journalism major and member of Navigators, said she was happy to help out.

“I love serving, and there’s not a lot of opportunity. (CSUnity) gives me the opportunity to give back,” Pedersen said.

The American Society of Civil Engineers was in charge of painting rooms for an alternative to violence group in Loveland.

“I think it’s a way to show the community that we’re not crazy college students,” Stephanie Aplin, a senior biology major and volunteer for ASCE, said. “It’s a chance to help out and make a better community.”

CSUnity also has expanded to include Denver. Now in its fourth year, the Alumni Association partnered with SLiCE and expanded the opportunity to volunteer to alumni and friends in Denver.

Volunteers have the opportunity to help in 19 different projects across the Denver Metro area, participating at the Food Bank of the Rockies, Denver Children’s Home, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and many others.

Along with the expansion, alumni help with CSUnity in the Bay Area, Houston, San Diego and Seattle.

Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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