By Arts & Entertainment Section Editor Sawyer Pollitt
On October 5th, the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement partnered with the Sustainability Office for their monthly Saturday of service where UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, staff, and community members teamed up to clean the trails on campus.
Meeting at the Leduc Center, the group of environmentally conscious activists took to the Red Cardinal Trail to clean up trash, litter, and other kinds of debris from the walking path. Red Cardinal Trail begins behind the Football field and continues for 1.1 miles in a loop on the Southern side of campus.
The Saturday of service event is not a new sight at UMass Dartmouth. The Sustainability department has been spearheading this project for a number of semesters. Although this month’s event was focused on cleaning trash off of trails, in the past the goals have been different.
In the past, the Saturday of service provided opportunities for students to help in surrounding communities like New Bedford, Fall River, and the greater Dartmouth Area. Last year, the Leduc center sponsored an ocean cleanup day where a number of students worked to clean the shores and shallow waters of the area.
The sustainability department at UMass Dartmouth offers an interdisciplinary course of study. It encourages students from Bioengineering, Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Physics, and Political Science. Students focus on the interaction of natural, economic, and social systems. They examine past and present philosophies and practices and consider sustainable, balanced, and ethical alternatives.
However, this event and others like it are not the sole responsibility of the sustainability department, the Leduc center also plays a large role in ensuring the success of environmental initiatives. The Leduc center is a group devoted to civic engagement and giving UMass Dartmouth students the opportunity to get involved in their communities.
One of the methods that the Leduc center uses is Service-Learning. This method of education teaches academics and skills through experiential learning with community outreach and a sense of civic responsibility. Events like the Saturday of service are a good way of acquiring this kind of service-learning.
Over the course of the semester and next semester there will be more Saturdays of service if one wishes to be involved. They take place on the first Saturday of each month and each one focuses on a new sustainable initiative. For more information about the sustainability department you can contact Prof. Robert Darst ( email@example.com ) , for more information on the Leduc center you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.