A SOPHOMORE IN ACTION: Community Service
My roommate and I like to joke sometimes that if you’re looking for a group that meets just for fun here at UM, you’re out of luck. It’s kind of an exaggeration- there are plenty of sports groups to join if you aren’t completely incapable of any sort of coordination like me, MUSKET puts on incredible productions (who saw RENT last semester?), and I lost track of how many a cappella groups exist on MaizePages. The moral is, though, that if you want to use your extracurricular space to participate in service-oriented groups and benefit the greater community, there is an enormous array of options available.
Starting broad, the co-ed professional service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega offers a brotherhood (sisterhood, too, for all my ladies out there) centered on a mutual passion for service to the campus and community. Active members participate in at least 25 hours of service a semester, and attend fellowships and weekly meetings.
If that sounds like too much, there are plenty of service-oriented groups on campus. The Detroit Partnership offers over 30 weekly programs in the city of Detroit ranging from tutoring all the way to dance. In March, they host DP Day, a Saturday where hundreds of UM students bus down to Detroit for a day of service-learning. The education reform group known as rEDesign offers start-up projects intended to better schooling for children and teens. PCAP, the Prison Creative Arts Project, offers students the opportunity to go into greater-Detroit and Ann Arbor prisons and schools to facilitate workshops in the arts with the intention to foster empowerment through creativity. And there are at least a hundred more.
Opportunities exist outside of the campus community, as well. 826michigan, located right on Liberty St. (have you ever wondered what that robot store was?) is a local non-profit committed to giving youth a space to curate their creative writing skills, as well as offering tutors in every other school subject. Volunteer opportunities range from weekly tutoring, to in-class help, to assisting with student field trips. The Hands-On Museum in Kerrytown also looks for volunteers who enjoy working with kids and watch as their fascinated little eyes learn.
This list is by no means inclusive, and by every means biased. If you do not see something here that interests you, fret not, because while we may not share the same interests, I will go out on a limb and guarantee that someone on or around this campus does. MaizePages is an excellent way to start your search. Happy hunting, and may the odds of finding a service outlet you’re passionate about be ever in your favor (hint: they are).
—Danielle Wallick, LSA sophomore majoring in English with a minor in CASC and a member of the new Semester in Detroit Cohort