The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Fall break volunteers deepen roots in Greensboro

Being an adult student coming back to school after a 12-year hiatus, I was a fast learner as to the significance of fall break. The semester is but a blur of books and papers checked off my syllabus.

The significance is so great that Guilford allots more days for fall break than most neighboring colleges. We are given this gift of mercy and the big question is: what do we do with it?

Personally, I enjoyed the fact that my week was not structured around classes. My schoolwork was still completed, but was intermingled with activities of my choosing.

Growing up in Greensboro, I have roots here and take that for granted at times. I am trying to imagine myself as a student, new to the area with free time and grasping for things to do for fall break.

Staying in the confines of Guilford and moping about how you should be at home is definitely a waste of time.

Five Guilford students, Alyzza Callahan, Chesapeake First, Je’Lissa Fowler, Courtney Mandeville, and Hannah Swenson created the group Rooting Ourselves in Greensboro (ROIG) last spring to combat just that. This year the group took 25 students and staff members to different volunteer sites all around Greensboro during their fall break.

Hannah Swenson, a junior and double major in community and justice studies and environmental studies, understands how intimidating it can be to find free-time activities to do out of the parameters of the campus. She shared that volunteering can be a fruitful way to benefit the community and create a social network.

“This event is a great outlet to get out of the Guilford bubble,” said Swenson. “It fosters the theme of this year, which is community and environmental sustainability. You also will learn along the way.”

Junior and environmental studies and biology majorCourtney Mandeville says this event is a mix of volunteering and socializing. He wants students to understand their normal lives are not on hold while at school.

“We can help direct the bubble bursting,” said Mandeville. “School should not be a place where you’re away from normal life. You can create and foster a community around you.”

The week of fall break involved different volunteer sites each day, speakers and social time. One of the sites included the Kathleen Clay Library. Swenson said this day included garden and trail work, a library, park tour, and a picnic.

“This site is great because it’s within walking distance of Guilford College and can be a great off-campus getaway any day,” Swenson said.

The downtown Greensboro Interactive Resource Center (IRC) Homeless Day Center was another volunteer site. Mandeville said they assisted with basic computer skills and connecting with people.

Both Mandeville and Swenson have utilized the Center for Principled Problem Solving Program for class credit and internship opportunities. I strongly encourage students to ask Swenson and Mandeville about the opportunities available.

Whatever we chose to do with this fall break, I hope those old and new to the area took a breather and came back refreshed to finish the last half of the semester.

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