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CLASS PROJECTS AT CONCORD UNIVERSITY BENEFIT GAP FUND AND CAMPUS FOOD PANTRY

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Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312, news@concord.edu
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After 4 p.m.
pitzer@concord.edu
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​Dec. 8, 2020
 

CLASS PROJECTS AT CONCORD UNIVERSITY BENEFIT GAP FUND AND CAMPUS FOOD PANTRY

 

ATHENS, W.Va. – Students in the online Organizational Communication class at Concord University recently completed projects that will benefit other CU students. One group of students organized a food drive for the on-campus food pantry while another group held a fundraiser for the university’s Gap Fund.

The activities were part of a class project completed within the course in order to practice skills of group socialization, team decision-making, leadership, and conflict/crisis management.

“The project is designed to do good for a local cause while giving students hands-on experience in organizational communication techniques,” stated Dr. Cory Williams, Professor of Communication Arts and instructor of the course.

Projects were completed before Thanksgiving and the results were presented on Dec. 3 to the class via Zoom. Students wrote an essay about their experiences working with the project as their final exam.

“For an online class in the middle of the pandemic, I have been very impressed with the results this class has achieved,” Dr. Williams said. “They have helped a lot of people with their hard work, and in the process I hope they learned about virtual communication.”

CU student Megan Phelps served as the organizational leader for the food drive. She reports that her group’s efforts resulted in “780 – 1,000 individual donations such as canned goods, nonperishable food, and personal hygiene products” being collected through campus and community donations. Collection boxes were set up in the residence halls, the Student Center, the Administration Building and the Rahall Technology Center, she says. Boxes were also placed in several locations in the Athens/Princeton area.

“Our priority for this fundraiser was to raise as many donations as possible in the least amount of time,” Megan explained. “We officially began our project on Nov. 1 and ended it on Nov. 20.”

When considering the various aspects of working on the project, Megan explains that “the successful outcome” is a highlight for her.

Concord’s Academic Success Center established the food pantry in the fall of 2016 after researching college student food insecurity and finding it to be a growing problem on campuses across the country. The purpose of Concord’s food pantry is to assist CU students who may not always have the resources to buy food or other essential items. It is located in the Rahall Technology Center and is currently operated by the Office of Veteran Services. Each year, a food drive competition among student groups at Homecoming helps in a major way to restock the pantry.

Dr. George Williams, CU’s veterans advocate, said he appreciates the students in the Organizational Communication class and their “amazing job at collecting donations.”

“With Homecoming events canceled, we were concerned that we wouldn’t have sufficient donations, as the pantry is as important in these difficult times as it has ever been,” he said. “However, thanks to the hard work of this group we are in really good shape. I’ve been working for three straight days sorting and storing the massive inventory.”

The Gap Fund project was successful as well. Trevor Darago served as director for this fundraiser. He explains that his group raised money for their project by hosting two virtual trivia nights via Zoom. “Sports Trivia” took place on Nov. 9 and “Throwback Trivia” was hosted on Nov. 16.

“Along with these events, we set up a promotional table in the Student Center where we took up cash donations,” he said.

The Gap Fund provides small grants to undergraduate students at Concord who have high unmet financial need or who find themselves in a financial situation that may lead to their dropping out of college.

“Concord’s motto is ‘Come to Learn. Go to Serve.’” stated Dr. Sarah Beasley, Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students. “These students clearly have taken this to heart as they raised much needed funds for our Gap Fund to support their peers who encounter financial emergencies. We are so grateful for their initiative and generosity.”

In addition to helping his fellow CU students and developing skills through the class, Trevor said he learned a valuable lesson in the process. “In this time of disconnect and stress, I truly learned how important connection and socialization is. Connection is not an asset, it is a necessity,” he said.

Trevor also appreciates the positive experience he shared with his classmates. “I enjoyed guiding a group of people who were so willing to work together,” he said. “We not only learned the content, but we created a positive and welcoming environment to learn in.”

 

-CU-

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