NACURH Winner
Month: August 2018

NACURH, INC.

Residential Community of the Month

School: Georgia College and State University Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Sanford Hall Freshmen Nominator: Elise Spicer

On-Campus Population: 2200 Chapter Size: 22

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

Every year, Georgia College welcomes the freshman class with a week of welcome activities meant to integrate them in to our GC family. This year Georgia College tried something new for Week of Welcome: they wanted the entire freshmen class to participate in a day of service. The inaugural GC Gives Day saw 1,500 volunteers at dozens of sites in the Milledgeville and the greater Baldwin county area. The aim was for the freshmen to give back and make a difference in the community that was now their home.

Georgia College has a first-year living requirement, so the freshmen are all housed in the residence halls. While many halls were split and sent to different locations, Sanford Hall had a small enough number of freshmen to all be sent to the same location. As a resident advisor for Sanford Hall, I and the two other resident assistants took 29 freshmen to the new location of New City Church Milledgeville. New City Church currently meets in the John Milledge Academy gym on Sundays, but they bought an old strip club last semester and are renovating it into a church.

We had different groups working on different tasks at the site – a group of 4 boys helped remove a large wooden and steel awning. Half of the remaining students tore out the ceiling inside the building, and the rest removed vines and weeds from the façade of the building and on the ground. But what made the Sanford Hall freshmen stand out from all the others that were participating in the mandatory day of service?

Sanford’s freshmen had a positive attitude for the duration of the day, which lasted 3 hours. I heard stories from other site leaders about their students who had nasty attitudes and refused to do even simple tasks. The freshmen of Sanford Hall worked really hard. We had to constantly remind them to take breaks because they were so focused on working. There was incredible team work, even though the students had just met each other days before! We only had a couple pairs of shears and one weed eater, so communication and sharing were essential to getting the job done in a timely manner. Those with shears would be called over to start snapping vines and others would pull them away with their hands. Those that worked inside demolishing the ceiling were conscious of the safety of their peers, holding ladders, being spotters, and helping others carry large pieces of plywood and chunks of fiberglass. The residents took this day of service to not only help build a church, but also as an opportunity to build a community in our hall. During water or rest breaks residents asked each other about their hometowns, shared about the clubs they were excited to join, and just got to know each other.

The most amazing part of this day to me was near the end of the work day, when they came to us, their resident assistants, and said, “Can we come back here for another work day? We want to see it when it’s finished.” That statement made this mandatory day of service not feel mandatory at all. We took a group before and after picture in front of the building. In the after picture, the group is sweaty but smiling, pointing up at the building they have just spent hours at in the hot summer sun, proudly showing off their work. I am incredibly proud to be their resident assistant and believe they should be recognized for the work they did this August.

Word Count: 597


Date of entry into database: 2018-09-01 20:31:05

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