If you see an army of students wielding hammers, brooms, shovels or rakes Saturday morning, do not be surprised. Instead, pick up the nearest paintbrush and join in.
Community House, in conjunction with the Office of Community and State Affairs, will kick off Campus Volunteer Day Saturday to bolster town-gown relations.
According to Community House representative Emanuel Slater '99, the University will be involved in six projects in the Princeton and Trenton area. "This will mainly involve outdoor cleanups, indoor painting and some students will be tutoring," Slater said.
Some of the projects that have been lined up for University volunteers include repairing playground equipment at Princeton Nursery School, painting classrooms in the Katzenbach School for the Deaf, stabilizing the riverbank along Stony Brook stream, tutoring at Save Our Kids and conducting a college workshop at the Young Scholars Institute in Trenton, Slater explained.
The opportunity to give something back to the community has been extended not only to University students but also to faculty, staff, graduate students and even administrators, Slater added.
"Everybody at Princeton University is involved in this effort at all levels – from students to staff to administrators." he said.
According to Slater, the expected turnout for the event is 60 to 100 volunteers. Slater explained he expects an increased number of volunteers compared to the past few years due to the higher volume of publicity surrounding the upcoming project.
"It is important for people to know about (Campus Volunteer Day)," he said. "I think one of the problems with the past is that no one really knew about the event. It's very important, especially for the people at Community House. It's important to give us exposure so people can see what we do here," Slater added.
Community House member Christen Smith '99 described the event as "a sampling of community service projects," which will "incorporate most Community House projects . . . in an effort to get the entire Princeton campus participating in community service for at least one day," Smith said.
"We target everybody from faculty to students," Smith added. "This is in the hope that if you participate, you'll want to continue with that project in the future."
Slater urged all interested students to participate in one of the event's service projects. He explained that the commitment would be about three hours and probably involve work on outdoor projects, weather permitting. Students interested in volunteering should meet in the Student Center at 9 a.m. for a breakfast prior to the start of the projects.
"If people are interested, we'll put them to work," Slater said.