The University of Portland began “Building Community: Serving to Learn” in 2005 as a way to unite all UP first-year students in a day of service. The service program aims to build community among new students in a non-traditional setting and to teach practices of sustainability and service in the surrounding area.
The students will be divided into smaller groups in which they will volunteer at 18 different sites throughout the Portland area, including Arbor Lodge, Baltimore Woods, Burnt Bridge Creek, Linnton Community Center, University Park Baptist Church, George Middle School, Forest Park, Frenchman’s Bar Park, John’s Gardens, Rebuilding Center, Roosevelt High School, Sauvie Island, Tyron State Park, Water Center, Sitton School, Howell State Park, Terwilliger Parkway, and Tyron Creek.
The day of service will conclude with the class of 2016 gathering to reflect. The students will also hear from the University’s Vice President for Student Affairs Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C, the University’s director of the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership Laura Goble, and Roosevelt High School’s principal Charlene Williams.
Community organizations partnering with the University include Portland Public Schools, Pesticide Free Parks, SOLV, City of Vancouver Public Works, Rebuilding Together, Forest Park Conservancy, Portland Community Gardens, State of Oregon, Friends of Tyron State Park, Howell State Park, Friends of Terwilliger, and Tyron Creek Watershed.
“An important tenet of the University is one of service and learning,” Megan House, student coordinator, said. “This program introduces the culture of service we have here to the new students.”
The program is organized by the University’s Shepard Freshman Resource Center and the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership. For more information, contact the Shepard Freshman Resource Center at (503) 943-7895.