New Bennion Center program targets incoming freshmen

By By Natalie Hale

By Natalie Hale

Freshmen have a lot on their plate: There are dorms to settle into, books to buy and people to meet. Now there’s a new way for freshmen to initiate friendships while at the same time getting a jumpstart on community service.

The Lowell Bennion Center, which connects U students, alumni and staff with service opportunities, has added Freshman Corps, a new program specifically designed for incoming students.

The program provides these new students with service projects and helps them build friendships and community on campus.

The new program fits in with the center’s principal goals of recruiting and retaining volunteers, increasing community service, making it accessible to all students and providing them with opportunities of service.

The goals are achieved. Freshman Corps and the other six main branches of the Lowell Bennion Center, which include Alternative Spring Break, Service Politics and Civic Engagement, the Service Learning Scholars’ Degree, the Service House on Officer’s Circle and student-directed programs.

The ASB program connects students with volunteer projects in different parts of North America.

“ASB is an opportunity for students to get motivated to do something productive during their Spring Break, and hopefully they will return home ready to make a difference in their own communities,” said Henry Tran, a senior in biochemistry.

The Bennion Center’s student-directed year-round program has 45 different service project opportunities, which vary from teaching art classes to assisting elementary students.

To find out more information about the Bennion Center, visit its Web site, or its office in the Union Building, room 107.

photo courtesy of the Bennion Center

Patrick Whitigand and Jesse Lin remove an invasive species of ice plant in Arcata, California last March on an Alternative Spring Break trip. The yearly program started in 1997, funded in part by the Bennion Center.