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ISSUE 120 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/13/2007

Day of Service unites

By Lauren Radomski
Variety Editor

Friday, April 13, 2007

On April 21, students and alumni will dig, paint and scrub in recognition of St. Olaf's second annual National Day of Service. The event, sponsored by the Alumni and Parent Relations Office, Student Alumni Association (SAA) and Volunteer Network (VN), offers students past and present the opportunity to build relationships while volunteering in their communities.

According to Nathan Soland, assistant director of Alumni and Parent Relations, many colleges nationwide designate an annual day of service. After an alumnus suggested St. Olaf do the same, Oles in cities around the country met for a day to make a difference in their communities. Now in its second year, St. Olaf's National Day of Service will continue to include alumni in cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., but will also give students the chance to volunteer with alumni in the Twin Cites.

Students will work on a variety of projects, from planting flowers and trees to painting an indoor mural. One project is making May Day puppets at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater in Minneapolis. Other projects include landscaping at St. Paul's Senior Apartments and raking and trash collection at Pioneers and Soldiers Historical Cemetery. More information about specific projects is available through the homepage for Alumni and Parent Relations.

The National Day of Service not only provides students with volunteer opportunities, but introduces them to alumni. "It's also an opportunity for them to interact with people who used to live on the Hill, Soland said. "By having students interact with alumni, you also gain an understanding of what the college used to be like and how it's grown.

As of last Tuesday, about 30 students and 100 alumni had registered for the event. Soland said he hopes the number of participants will total between 250 and 300 by the end of the week.

The National Day of Service appeals to students like SAA member Janna Holm '07, who can't commit to volunteer work on a regular basis. She said she appreciates the opportunity not only to volunteer, but to connect with alumni. "I love meeting alumni and hearing their stories about when they were here," she said.

The National Day of Service is one of several events sponsored annually by SAA, which serves as a liaison between St. Olaf alumni and current students. Other events include Backpack to Briefcase, the Etiquette Dinner and Ole Night In.

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