Usually during the month of February, Florida Southern College plays host to Week of Impact, a Student Government Association-sponsored event where students gathered into teams to do volunteer work.
“It started for students to take a week out of their schedules and their lives to focus on service, and giving back to the community, and giving back to Florida Southern,” Ashley Gibson, SGA president, said.
However, this year Week of Impact has been discontinued. SGA discussed the issue and decided around the beginning of the year that the week was no
“It started turning more into a competitive thing, not that we don’t want students to get competitive or feel passionate for the causes they want to help, but at the same time it turned more into everyone focusing on the competition aspect and not the service aspect,” Gibson said.
Over the years several different organizations on campus participated in Week of Impact, but the sororities and fraternities on campus played a large role.
Gabriella Cafaro, a Zeta Tau Alpha member for three years, did not actively participate in the Week of Impact, but she had several sorority sisters who were involved and had a good impression of it.
“It actually felt like we were doing something good for the community, along with the fact that we already do a lot for our philanthropy and the community as well,” Cafaro said.
Sandwich Ministries, a student-led and funded organization, was one of the organizations that benefited from Week of Impact. The organization was given donated Gatorades which were passed out to Lakeland’s homeless community.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve been able to collect enough Gatorade to see us through the entire school year, which is a really big deal for us since we are not funded by anybody on campus,” Sarah Hester, president of Sandwich Ministries, said.
However, SGA has started several other initiatives now that Week of Impact has been discontinued.
“What we want to do is, instead of having just a week event where everyone focuses on service, all throughout the year this year we’ve been doing service events that promote service all year long,” Gibson said.
SGA has worked on promoting the Life and Cultural Center’s volunteer events, led by Rachel Smith, Volunteer In Service to America member and coordinator of volunteer programs at FSC.
SGA hosted the Angel Tree during the fall semester for students to bring in gifts for underprivileged children. A second SGA-sponsored project for the spring semester is also in the works.
Hester said that the spread-out opportunities were a good thing, although she said that she would miss the Gatorade drive.
“I don’t think necessarily that the method is important. It doesn’t necessarily have to be condensed into one week,” Hester said. “As long as we’re still doing it, that’s great. I just hope that it’s publicized well enough that the student body gets involved, with it not being a week-long competition like it has been.”
(Editor’s note: In the print version of The Southern Gabriella Cafaro’s name was spelt Gabriella Casaro instead of Cafaro.)
(Photo courtesy of Wayne Koehler)