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Day honors community

Adam Llorens | Thursday, March 29, 2012

The student governments of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s will celebrate the fourth annual CommUniversity Day tomorrow to honor the partnerships the schools have with the South Bend community.

Senior Erika Hansen, co-director of Community Relations for Notre Dame student government, said there are 40 projects with 700 student volunteers. This year’s theme, “Deepening Our Roots,” directs many of the projects to work towards improving the environment, she said.

“The individuals we work with appreciate the student enthusiasm,” Hansen said. “I’m most excited about events with student and community member interaction.”

Hansen said the day demonstrates the enthusiasm students have for working with the community.

“What I think is really cool about it is the work and collaboration that goes on between those of us who work on the event from the student government side, and those in the community who are helping us plan the whole day,” Hansen said.

One of two events new to CommUniversity Day will feature Psychology Club members playing games with residents at Portage Manor, a center for adults with developmental disabilities. For the other, members in Circle K will make Easter baskets with residents at Saint Mary’s Convent.

“Something that’s really exciting is when we will have senior citizens take a bus tour leaving from the Robinson [Community Learning] Center around campus,” Hansen said. “We also have a children’s festival on the Irish Green, so I think a lot of community members are excited to come to our campus to check it out.”

Hansen said residence hall groups will also play a major role in the events planned for the day. The women of Badin Hall will play bingo with residents at Healthwin Nursing Home, she said. The men of Knott Hall will bring children to campus to spend a day as a Notre Dame student during their “Angel for a Day” signature event.

“We hope to achieve some tangible goals … and all those different tasks that different organizations have asked us to do,” Hansen said. “We hope this day can deepen some of the partnerships we have created throughout this year and hopefully inspire some more students to get out more into the community.”

Though registration for projects ended Wednesday, students can still join in celebrating CommUniversity Day at a picnic open to the public at the Robinson Community Learning Center at 3 p.m.