For the first time in Andrews University history, there will be a campus-wide Change Day. To those who are unfamiliar with the event, Change Day is a new initiative launched by the Office of the Provost to make an impact on the community—a fresh take on the mission of Andrews University seeking to transform its students. Faculty, students and community members have been preparing this event for a long time. In fact, several signs, posters and announcements have been made to advertise what is coming ahead.
Deborah Weithers, Dean for Student Life, said “I am so glad that the university is coming together to do something that will benefit the entire community. Not only will it do something for our local community, but it will also do something good for us as we help other people.”
President of the Andrews University Graduate Student Association (AUGSA) Mark Reid said, “Change Day is something new to campus but it allows us to live out Christian values and put them into practice by helping our neighbor.”
Change Day is going to focus on the “change the world” part of the Andrews mission by giving back to our community through acts of service. Around 60 organizations from the Southwest Michigan area have been invited to make service requests on the Andrews website to connect them with volunteers on campus. Volunteers excited about service opportunities can find listings of each organization that they may join that day (some may require prior registration) on ChangeHub, located on the Andrews University website. Some students have already found the organizations that they want to benefit.
Berrien Springs native Crystal-Anne Tan (junior, global studies) said, “I am really excited about Change Day because this community raised me, so this is my chance to give back. I personally want to go to Mars Elementary School because that is where I went as a child and it holds a special place in my heart.”
On Thursday, Sept. 14 from 8:00AM- 3:30PM all classes and offices will be closed in order to support this campus-wide initiative. Volunteers who would like to take part in Change Day should come ready to make a difference to their community in clothes that they do not mind getting dirty. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended. Volunteers will also be given a Change Day 2017 T-shirt. The day will kick off at the flagpole, where students will be able to sign up for a project site where they will spend a portion of the day working. Breakfast will be provided to everyone who chooses to participate. Volunteers will then gather together and begin traveling to their destination. Transportation for faculty, staff and students to location sites will be done through buses and carpooling. When the acts of service have been completed, lunch and debriefing will be done in the Howard Performing Arts Center.
Mark Reid, AUGSA President, puts the day in context: “ Changing the world doesn't start when we leave Andrews. It starts now.”