W James and Sam Zimmermann
Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of service. His entire body of work was, at its core, about helping the community and making sure that the dream of many Americans would not die for super cial reasons but be lifted up by hard work and kindness. Florida Southern College’s Day of Impact honors Dr. King’s service by enabling students to help others while also shedding light on the diversity issues in the community at large.
When it comes to a day like MLK Day, there is a lot of planning and nuance that needs to be taken seriously. When you are dealing with a larger than life gure such as MLK, just acknowledging the day isn’t enough. Day of Impact service projects elevated what was done last year by providing students with three services projects: the ASPCA, Kids Pack and Habitat for Humanity. Each service project catered to what the organization’s needs were.
We are really focusing on the civic en- gagement initiative. I wasn’t here last year, so my understanding is that Thrift was too crowded, which was part of the relocation to Jenkins,” Jackie Inskeep, Assistant Director for Student Involvement, said.
This year the service projects were located on Mr. George’s Green. Each organization had its own tented area where the service took place. People got to choose what they wanted to work on and were never overwhelmed because of the spacious area.
Students in the ASPCA tent were creating dog chew toys by braiding together strips of old t-shirts. Kids Pack had students packaging 600 individual meals, which included ravioli, granola bars, crackers, juice boxes and fruit snacks. These meals will be distributed amongst children in low income households in Polk County. Students also volunteered to paint picture frames for Habitat for Humanity.
“I really like it. Last year they just did Kids Pack, and I know there were a lot of people that wanted to help, but there wasn’t enough to do,” sophomore Piper Garick said. “This is great because people can spread out and have more of an impact since we are doing more for the community.”
The MLK committee was made up of student representatives from the Simmons Center, the Center for Student Involvement, faculty members and SGA representatives. In the quest to achieve the level of inclusion that Martin Luther King Jr inspired, Florida Southern is trying to implement its own ways to live up to that dream. Many students have been vocal about personal experiences about racial and other diversity issues on campus.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Day is a really great time to bring up racial issues that exist in our world and especially on our campus,” Assia Angelini, Multicultural Student Council President, said. “I really wanted to see something that people could take away and something that would challenge people’s ideas.”
Angelini enjoyed Dr. Mary F. Berry’s speech earlier during the Day of Impact, citing her brutal honesty in regards to race on FSC’s campus. FSC has plans in place to remedy the lack of diversity on campus with the Diversity Task Force and other initiatives.
MLK Day of Impact is meant for students to re ect and move forward in the name of social progress. The modern era offers the opportunity to change and grow both as a community and a society.