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SAND calendar to coordinate service

Kristen Edelen | Tuesday, October 16, 2007

With the launch of an online calendar that charts upcoming service events, the many social service groups at Notre Dame have a new resource for collaborating their event planning and general dialogue.

This resource, which is now up and running, was created by the newly formed Social Action Notre Dame (SAND) network and can be found on the bottom right corner of the Center for Social Concerns’ home page. The calendar shows events through mid-November.

Gary Nijak and Chris Esber, both juniors, founded the group.

“The main purpose of this group is to start conversation between all the different organizations that focus on social action and social service to avoid groups planning events at the same time, and to allow groups to work together on issues,” Nijak said.

Service groups can submit their events to an online calendar for the public to view, said Esber, who works in the CSC office. The sharing of information will help organizations plan so that service events can be scheduled at times that do not conflict with other events, he said.

Esber will maintain the calendar with the help of juniors Katie Day and Maggie Condit.

“We seek to bring together groups which previously had no formal conversation,” Nijack said. “We can then stimulate conversation and promote efficient and productive events on campus.”

One such collaborative event occurred Sunday, when groups from Notre Dame came together with the Michiana community to support those affected by conflict in Uganda through the Gulu Walk.

“The Walk is only one example, but it is a good display of what SAND can do,” Esber said.

The idea behind SAND resulted both from Nijak’s participation in a national summer leadership program and an idea of Rosie McDowell, the student outreach coordinator for the CSC. McDowell sought to create an efficient scheduling network for the many events that occur on and off campus.

Nijak said many other campuses already had systems similar to SAND.