Today: Jun 17, 2024

Southern starts its own version of Stuff-A-Bus

Amanda Brail Special to the Southern News

Southern Connecticut State University’s first ever Stuff a Shuttle event is happening this spring due to Outreach Unlimited—a small club of about 20 people.

The club for students at Southern with disabilities was started 12 years ago by a small group of students and Assistant Director of the Disability Resource Center, Deborah Fairchild. With the help of Fairchild, now the club’s faculty advisor, and the co-presidents of Outreach Unlimited, Amy Berish and Amanda Powers, the talks of the Stuff a Shuttle event have been made a reality.

“No one really knows where the idea came from,” said Powers, “but me and Amy decided to run with it.”

And run with it they did. With their efforts, the Stuff a Shuttle—Southern’s version of Stuff a Bus—will be taking place Mar. 1 in the Academic Quad. According to Powers, the club is accepting non-perishable food items, gently used clothing and new toiletries from anyone that wants to donate.

“The idea is to literally stuff one of the First Transit shuttles,” said Powers. “We want to be able to give back to the New Haven community and get as many members of the Southern community to help out.”

Berish hopes that Stuff a Shuttle will help to make the 20 member club’s presence on campus a little more known, but because of the small size of their club, Outreach is coordinating with Zeta Delta Epsilon Honors Service Society and Beta Mu Sigma Fraternity in order to make the event a success.

“I know ZDE is really willing to get the word out and give us that extra manpower that we need,” said Berish. “And Beta is helping us load and unload the shuttle on the day of the event.”

Fairchild is also thankful for the help the club has received so far, pointing out that without the help of Campus Police Chief Joseph Dooley and General Manager of First Transit Greg Tower, the Stuff a Shuttle would not have been possible. “They have been instrumental and amazing,” she said.

Both Outreach and ZDE are no strangers to a good cause. According to Berish, the club has hosted other events in the past that have allowed them to donate to organizations such as the Disabled Veteran’s Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. While Jillian Bowron, an activities coordinator for ZDE, said that the honors society has hosted blood drives around campus and that it requires members to complete 15 hours of community service a week.

All parties involved with the Stuff a Shuttle said that they hope to make it an annual event.

“We want this to be our big thing,” said Bowron.

“It’s just so catchy,” said Berish. “And it’s such a good time to do it, because it’s still cold out and people need donations.”

Berish is optimistic about the outcome of the event and hopes that the participation they have received so far is an indication of how the event will turn out in the future.

“Right now the whole back of the DRC is filled with bags and bags of clothing,” she said. “Considering that the event is still two months away and we already have so much to donate to the shelter is just great. We’re going to have a great turnout no matter what.”

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