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Mourn. Celebrate. Connect.

By ksaleet on October 26, 2017

Every single minute, up to twenty individuals in the United States may be abused by an intimate partner. That amounts to a staggering ten million victims of domestic violence each year. And many of these innocent people may not survive their abuse. Here, in the state of New York, domestic violence is legally defined as “a pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.” The reality of domestic violence or abuse is one endured by people in all walks of life, in various forms and capacities. Each story matters, and each deserves acknowledgment and remembrance. And each victim deserves help.

Since 1987, October has been officially recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time during which we should mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived, and connect with those who work to end it. Since its establishment, this movement has steadily gained momentum, helping to educate, heal, and catalyze deeply important discussion. Here at Colgate, The Network, a COVE team dedicated to supporting survivors of interpersonal violence and sexual assault, has sponsored two events to highlight the issues of domestic violence during this crucial month. The student group also put up a powerful statistical display on the quad to promote awareness.

On October 16, The Network invited Jennifer K. Enriquez, a public health educator and survivor, to campus. She shared her own unique story of interpersonal violence as both a child and an adult, and she began a conversation regarding abuse of all kinds, from sexual to physical to psychological to economic. Ms. Henriquez encouraged students and faculty to think critically about domestic violence, its roots, its victims, and its horrifying repercussions. And this meaningful, albeit difficult, dialogue should not be forgotten any time soon.

In light of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, perhaps the most important role that members of the Colgate community can play is that of the advocate. The advocate for safe and healthy relationships. The advocate for victim support in every form. The advocate for rightful prosecution and punishment of abusers. The advocate for learning and for listening and for dialogue. No single individual or team has the means or the power to put an end to the atrocious phenomenon that is domestic violence. But we all have the capacity to mourn, celebrate, connect, and advocate.

By Rebecca O’Neill

New Partnership Supports Long-Term Service Learning Initiative in Ecuador

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017
Ecuador service-learning trip volunteers working on community tourist site to welcome visitors to a local sacred site.

Ecuador service-learning trip volunteers working on community tourist site to welcome visitors to a local sacred site.

The Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE) and the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs developed a partnership over the last year to develop a long-term relationship with the Tandana Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Ecuador, to develop a series of rich, service-learning experiences for our students. A long-term service-learning program in Ecuador aligns well with the mission of the Lampert Institute and allows Colgate University to expand its offerings in Latin America, a locale currently underserved in our international programs. We plan to send two groups of 10 students and two faculty each year. We envision that the focus of the group will change from year to year, depending on the needs of the local communities and the academic interests of the group leaders. Read more

Max Shacknai COVE and Upstate Institute Increase the Impact of Joint Work-Study Program

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017
SOMAC Ambulance Corps volunteer demonstrating intervention on a fellow student.

SOMAC Ambulance Corps volunteer demonstrating intervention on a fellow student.

In the fall of 2015, the Max Shacknai COVE and the Upstate Institute joined together with local community agencies to offer paid internships to federal work-study–eligible students leading to lasting community outcomes and offering students who may not have the option to volunteer time at a nonprofit organization the opportunity to gain professional and leadership skills. This year we increased the number of internships to seven, more than doubling the program. Seven students worked with six community organizations: Partnership for Community Development (PCD), Town of Hamilton, Fiver Children’s Foundation, Southern Madison Ambulance Corps, Village of Hamilton, and Waterville First. This program allowed students interested in gaining a deeper experience in nonprofit administration hands-on, long-term, in-depth work. Projects provided capacity building assistance to the organizations with which we partnered. One student helped to write a policy and procedural manual for SOMAC, while another enhanced the organization’s social media presence. Students working with the other organizations provided data analysis and technology assistance to increase communication and evidence-based decision making for their organizations. We saw several win-win outcomes to this program in the first year and aim to continue to grow the program in future years to offer more internships. Read more

Student-Community Partnerships Experience Success

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

The Max A. Shacknai COVE advises 39 student-led, community-based volunteer teams. These teams cover a wide range of issues and help students build an abundance of skills. Approximately 650 students — representing about 23 percent of the Colgate population — participate regularly on a volunteer team. This year, volunteer teams performed a total of more than 23,000 hours of service in the local community.

Service outcomes of ongoing projects include:

  • Tutored more than 250 local school children at all grade levels
  • Mentored more than 195 school-aged children
  • Provided after-school enrichment activities to an additional 75 local children
  • Improved academic and social confidence of children they tutored and mentored
  • Improved SAT scores of 60 local high school students by 100 points on average
  • Assisted more than 150 elderly and low-income adults
  • Served more than 800 individuals at the soup kitchen and food cupboard
  • Assisted in responding to more than 800 fire and EMS emergency calls
  • Contributed more than 500 hours responding to the Victims of Violence hotline
  • Provided care to more than 800 shelter animals
  • Contributed to a cohesive, caring community

Read more

Alternative Break Trips Deepen Student Learning

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017
Habitat for Humanity alternative break volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity alternative break volunteers.

The Max A. Shacknai COVE continues to offer opportunities to deepen student understanding of complex social issues by providing immersive experiences in environments very different from those available in the local community. Students participate in a series of preparation and reflective activities to create a rich learning opportunity. Alternative break trips are not discrete one-week experiences. In addition to committing to a work-intensive week, students are responsible for attending predeparture meetings that introduce the participants to the community and organization with which they will be working and the critical issues with which they will be dealing.

Students who participate are civically engaged and interested in effecting sustainable local and global change through a continued commitment. In total, 55 participants in these programs contributed more than 2,500 hours of direct service to these communities this year. Read more

Providing Support for Continued Community-Based Learning

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

Increasing the Impact of One Student’s Study Group Work
This spring we were able to support a student who was asked by the community where she participated in a Colgate study group to return to expand on the work she did in the fall of 2015.

That fall, as part of her community-based learning work during the Santa Fe Study Group, Alia Davis ’18 spent each Tuesday and Thursday at the Keres Children’s Learning Center. KCLC is a Montessori school that focuses learning in Keres, Cochiti Pueblo’s original language, and blends Cochiti’s traditional systems of education with the Montessori model. As part of the work for KCLC, Davis completed a short video that enabled the founders and teachers of the KCLC to express their intentions, goals, and love for the school in their native language and highlighted just some of the beautiful moments the KCLC fosters for their use and to promote to the community. KCLC invited Davis to complete a second film for them with interviews that focus on the parents, community elders, KCLC’s teachers, and Dr. Joseph Suina, one of the founding members, and former governor of the pueblo. Davis returned in May to begin work on the second video, which she will finish up in the fall of 2017. Read more

Max Shacknai COVE Continues to Contribute through Signature Programs

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

First-Year Orientation Outreach Program
The COVE sponsors a four-day pre-orientation service opportunity for first-year students called Outreach. Outreachers work in small groups on a variety of community projects designed to assist local organizations and agencies with their significant efforts.

This year, 10 upperclassmen led 21 first-year students in service experiences throughout the Hamilton and Utica communities. After each day of service, students reflected and discussed what their service experience might mean for their impending four years at Colgate. Overall, the program contributed more than 400 hours of service work in the short three-day span.

COVE Brown Bags
COVE Brown Bags are open to all students, staff, and faculty, and are a means by which COVE teams seek to increase knowledge and activism on issues related to their service work in the community. These luncheons, which take place weekly in the COVE lounge, highlight a wide array of topic areas. This year, we hosted 15 events. Read more

Common Good Network Enriches Career Options

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

Joining with alumni affairs, career services and advancement, the Common Good Professional Network continues to grow and offer many networking and development opportunities for students and alumni. Two key initiatives saw great success again this year.

Be the Change Weekend
We welcomed eight alumni back to campus for our second annual Be the Change: Careers for the Common Good Symposium. The symposium focuses on building alumni-student relationships and advancing careers in the common good sector, which includes nonprofits, education, government, and other enterprises for social good. Read more

Max Shacknai COVE Supports Professional Preparation in the Common Good

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

Levine/Weinberg Fellowship
The COVE selects students annually for the Levine/Weinberg Endowed Summer Fellowship. This fellowship provides highly qualified students, interested in pursuing a career in community and/or public work, with summer internship funding in the field of direct community service. This year’s recipients are:

Sonali Byrd ’19 interned with Revolve Impact Los Angeles this summer, building on her interest in working with underprivileged youth around the Los Angeles area to help keep them in school, out of trouble, and on the path to success. The organization aims to break the cycle of oppression and inequality that many young students of color find themselves trapped in. Byrd worked with the Schools Not Prison branch of the organization, where she dealt specifically with teenagers to help ensure their acceptance and presence in colleges rather than prisons. Read more

Max Shacknai COVE Recognizes Outstanding Contributions

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

The Max Shacknai COVE exists through the efforts of individuals. During the course of the year, we have had a number of opportunities to recognize the work of others.

Dean’s Community Service Award
This award is given to the most worthy individual, residential unit, or group at Colgate that, through the preceding year, has given significant service to the local community. This service exemplifies an understanding that we are part of a larger community and that volunteer service and civic participation are part of the responsibility of well-educated women and men. Natalie Pudalov, Caroline Correia, and Maia Dinsmore were awarded the 2017 Dean’s Community Service Award. Read more