Jourdan Duncan – Special to Southern News –
As she bent down to pick up scraps of trash off the playground at John Daniels School of International, junior communications disorder major Mary Mohyed said everyone should do what they can to help out their community.
While representing ZDE Honors Society for Southern’s annual Day of Service, Mohyed said this is her second time participating in the event, and she likes that the university chooses the site for each group because if it were her choice, she would pick the same one every time.
“I’ve participated in Day of Service and Big Event at Southern. I’ve represented ZDE and Service Team both times,” Mohyed said.
Day of Service is an annual event that brings Southern students and organizations on campus together by going out into the New Haven community and giving back through different acts of community service. Each group is appointed a site and provided transportation as well as supplies to get the duties for the day accomplished.
For other students, joining in on the community service cause was a new experience.
“It’s my first time participating in Day of Service. I haven’t done any community service since high school. I’m really busy and I feel bad because I think we should all make the time,” junior political science major Lauren Brown said,
Members of the ZDE Honor Society are required to take part in at least 15 hours of community service in order to stay active within the organization. Day of Service is one of the major events that many of the members use as their opportunity to add to their tracked hours.
While the group walked down Baldwin Street cleaning up their surroundings, residents could be heard shouting thanks from their nearby windows. ZDE Vice President and senior Christina Ebert smiled in response to the gratitude.
“The feeling I get of giving back and helping other people’s lives to be better makes my life better,” Ebert said.
Southern has provided students with links to various agencies and sites through specific organizations, as well as holding its own events on campus. All of the community service opportunities are open to every student individually and also those who belong to a specific group.
“Between Service Team, Greek Life, and ZDE there are a lot of service opportunities,” Ebert said. “You look at Southern’s website and there is all service things.”
Junior public health major Jackie Zarra said she has participated in community service since high school, where she was required to do so for her cheerleading team.
“When I was doing cheerleading we had to do a lot of community service,” Zarra said. “We hosted a senior prom for a nursing home. I really enjoyed it and I didn’t mind that we had to do it, but you could tell some people just didn’t like it and had a look on their face.”
Southern junior Gina Divirgilio, a communications disorder major, said it was her first time attending the Day of Service and although she had done community service before, this event was bigger than she had expected.
As Divirgilio crossed the street to catch up with the others in royal blue, she searched the ground for more garbage to put in her big, black trash bag.
“I do a lot of community service in my hometown, Wolcott,” Divirgilio said. “I’m part of the Wolcott Junior Women’s Club and we volunteer at many different events.”
The eco-friendly student said she enjoys planting trees, picking up trash, and anything nature related; therefore, the Day of Service helped to fulfill not only her required hours of service, but her personal interests as well.
“I’m big into morality and ethics. It’s about bettering people’s lives and the community around them,” Divirgilio said. “That’s what community service means to me.”