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Encounter South Bend plans to give students a different perspective

| Thursday, September 27, 2018

This upcoming Friday, instead of staying in their dorms to study, students at Saint Mary’s have the opportunity to engage in the South Bend community. The Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) has organized buses to take students to multiple locations including an urban farm, a pay-it-forward coffee shop, and more.

“At the Office we see as our mission as engaging, connecting and serving,” OCSE director Rebekah DeLine said. “The Encounter helps by engaging our students in the community — generally on a specific theme — connecting them to organizations doing amazing work, and then ultimately we hope that students will go back out into the community and serve. In addition, Encounters enable us to look more deeply at societal and root causes, which sometimes a day of service will not. So, this particular Encounter scheduled for Friday will allow us to look deeply at how our consumerist culture can be harmful to the environment and even our own city, and how we can counter that through the buying power that we have.”

This trip is set to challenge those who attend to rethink how they live, work and play, and how those things make an impact on the world, according to the flyer. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, where attendees will go from place to place. Lunch, coffee, dessert and transportation will all be provided.

“It is important to go to events that involve the community so you can immerse yourself in the culture of that area and you can become a well-rounded adult,” junior Libbey Tierney said. “Being involved in the community is essential for becoming a well-rounded adult in some ways because it shows you things that you may have never seen before.”

Getting involved in the surrounding community is an important goal for both Saint Mary’s and OCSE. They both work in combination to give students the opportunity to expand their grasp on events outside the campus.

“It is a part of our mission at Saint Mary’s [to engage in opportunities like those offered by OCSE],” DeLine said. “It is a part of the core values, community and justice, that we hold dear. We feel, as the mission statement says, that the OCSE is core to promoting a life of ‘social responsibility’ and responding ‘to the complex needs and challenges of the contemporary world.’ Furthermore, from a strictly practical sense, being in the community, engaging with service and serving with our community partners provides a skill set and opportunity for growth that’s not readily available in just a classroom setting.”

To register for the event, students can email [email protected] or use the QR code that can be found on numerous posters throughout Saint Mary’s campus. Other events like this run by OCSE can be found on the organization’s Facebook and Instagram updates or through weekly updates at their email above.

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