Apr 152007
Authors: Bob Shipton

Donning rakes, paintbrushes and summer garb, CSU students flooded the Fort Collins community Saturday, offering free service work to anyone who asked for it.

CSUnity, an annual volunteer event sponsored by the Office for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, brought campus volunteers and student groups together to strengthen CSU’s reach into the community.

“When we come out and do something like this, we get to give back to the world outside of CSU and we get to hang out, have fun and casually harass each other,” said Keith Smith, a senior German major.

Service was in the air, and students weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

“We’re here to do whatever you need us to,” said Kate Anderson, German club president, to community member Cynthia Manuel, who requested help with a few odd jobs around her farm.

CSU’s German club hit the scene, rolled up their sleeves and prepared to get a little stinky, playing a game of nose-goes to see who would be climbing in the dusty barn and flip compost.

Their next chore, though, caused a little buzz.

Manuel, a master beekeeper, needed help painting some man-made beehives. Many of Manuel’s bees are facing colony collapse disorder, commonly called Vanishing Bee Syndrome. In these cases, entire of colonies of bees can simply die off for no apparent reason.

“It seems so easy with a lot of people working, but I could have been doing this for days by myself,” Manuel said.

Their work, she said, was more important than most think.

“I think it’s a bigger problem than terrorism,” Manuel said. “Einstein said that if we lose our bees, we would lose our food supply in four years and nobody is paying attention.”

While Manuel tended to her bees, the members of the German club put in their work and ended the day happy to have helped.

“CSUnity is just one way we can get away from campus and into the town and actually help people,” Anderson said.

Staff writer Bob Shipton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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