CCE Suite Members Present at National Conference

Written By: Bubacarr Fofana ’18 and Brenda Papineau

This year eight students, in two different suites, participated in the opportunity to continue their service work by living and learning together. As friends who share similar interests, living in the CCE suite has created a bond between them that they described as “unbreakable.”

In one suite, Bubacarr Fofana, Mo Tunkara, and Jack Stokoe were involved in a program called NYSARC Fitness, based at St. Lawrence University. This program met for an hour, every Monday and Wednesday, and engaged participants in activities such as walking, kickball, and tee ball. The goal of NYSARC Fitness is to promote and increase opportunities for physical fitness and health. Mo Tunkara shared this about his experience “It is about getting involved and building a strong connection with the community around SLU”, also noting that “That has been something that I’ve always been interested in since High School, and the CCE has given me the opportunity to continue my civic engagement duties here at St. Lawrence University.”

In the other suite, Sean Delaney, Sam Figueroa, Jeremiah O’Connor, and Robert Ryan were involved in a student organization called Campus Kitchens Project at St. Lawrence University.  Similar to the operation of a soup kitchen, the student organization uses reclaimed food from the dining hall and other food donations, and prepares a weekly meal for the community through collaboration with a local church. During the spring semester, the suite members worked primarily on Sundays and alongside approximately ten other student volunteers to prepare food such as salad, chicken dip, potatoes, cake etc. Jack Stoke shared this about his experience “As college students, we get so immersed in our studies and college life that we tend to lose track of what happens outside in the real world, CCE housing provides an outlet to the outside world, especially local communities.”

In addition to participating in a weekly placement with a local agency, the gentlemen were also required to participate in reflection seminars and other CCE related programming. It was during one of the reflection seminars that they were encouraged to submit a proposal to present at the IMPACT National Conference. As cited on their website, “The IMPACT Conference is historically the largest gathering in the country focused on the civic engagement of college students in community service, service-learning, community-based research, advocacy and other forms of social action.” The NYSARC Fitness suite submitted a proposal on their experience of being in the suite, working with NYSARC, and how this has helped them to be active and engaged citizens on campus. Their proposal was accepted and they titled their presentation “From Kickball to Sweet (Suite) Housing: Programs that Engage Students in Service."