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Service seminars remain popular

Anthony Iannamorelli | Friday, September 2, 2005

The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) received over 330 applications for this fall’s service seminars, despite a much earlier application due date.

This year, applications were due early, before school began – as opposed to within the first few weeks. But the change of date is intended simply to coincide with the Registrar’s add/drop class schedule, and students who applied did not seem to mind the timing change.

“I really didn’t feel any rush for the fall service project because the application was really simple and it only took 20 minutes of my time,” said Dan Geffre, who will be attending the Appalachia Seminar. “I’m very happy I’m going to be able to go to Appalachia this semester because my friends have told me so many good things about the things they did and people they met.”

The seminar requirements extend beyond the week of Fall Break.

“For those that are accepted, there are required classes and reading prior to the immersion and written reflection and analysis afterward,” said Jay Bradenberger, CSC director of experiential learning and developmental research.

But the extra work does not deter many students. Those who have participated say the experience proved invaluable.

“It is one of the most enriching experiences the University offers,” senior Jeff Mullin said.

Last year, over 700 students participated in 20 different seminars. This fall, six different immersion projects are being offered. The cost of each seminar varies from $175 to $200, plus $100 for expenses.

“The Center seeks to promote, in the words of the University mission statement, ‘a disciplined sensibility to poverty, injustice and oppression,'” Bradenberger said.

Through each service project, this mission is fulfilled along with everyone who participates, learning and growing not only academically but spiritually.


CSC describes its seminars:

Appalachia will allow students to work closely with people while being immersed in the history, culture, and hardships of the region.

The Gospel of Life Seminar will focus on controversial and pressing issues such as stem cell research, euthanasia and abortion. Discussions will be conducted with public servants and Church leaders.

Students will be immersed in the interesting Gullah culture in the Gullah Seminar, held on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia.

The Cultural Diversity seminar will take place in Chicago. It will examine the “problems of urban life and racism.” Students will enter into dialogue with community leaders while fully experiencing the ethnic cultures that thrive there.

Pre-professional and health-care minded students will get a chance to examine the shortcomings of our health care system while gaining hands on experience at the Global Health Initiative Seminar.

The Washington, D.C. Seminar is meant to allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the workings of our healthcare system. They will meet key players in the decision making process while covering a variety of issues.