SU and Partners to 'Serve Seattle'
During Serve Seattle, students, faculty and staff from Seattle University participate in community cleanups.
On Sept. 24, 500 Seattle University volunteers and community partners once again joined forces to improve community green spaces by removing blackberries and other invasive plants.
Serve Seattle focused on Beacon Hill's Cheasty Greenspace in partnership with EarthCorps and at Yesler Terrace in partnership with Parents Empowerment for Education Results.
"We're really grateful to SU for being such an important link in this chain of community service," - says Elizabeth White of EarthCorps.
SU's Kelly Benkert, coordinator for Serve Seattle, says the university sponsors environmental projects to connect the campus to the community and help create a culture of service among students to deepen their learning. "This day of service is a great way to introduce students to the university's ethic of service and it has a real impact on the community," says Benkert, who works in the Center for Service and Community Engagement.
In past years, SU has partnered with neighborhood organizations such as the Squire Park Community Council and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce for numerous green space and neighborhood cleanups. One year, Serve Seattle focused on 12th Avenue South at Dr. Jose Rizal Park.
Serving the community is central to the university's Jesuit Catholic mission. SU was named one of the top 20 universities in the nation for "Town-Gown Relations" (how well students interact with the community) in the Princeton Review's The Best 373 Colleges 2011 edition. Three out of four SU students—a rate more than twice the national average—now serve the community as part of their university experience.