Many students at University of the Sciences are frequently engaged in learning and service experiences through their extracurricular clubs and organizations. Some choose to apply what they are learning in the classroom to problems in the real world, like recent public awareness campaigns about the H1N1 pandemic, conducted by the Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management Club
, the Microbiology Club
, and the Pre-Med Society
. The American Chemical Society
, the Microbiology Club
, Americans for Informed Democracy
, and the Asian Student Association
all rallied their members to take part in the AIDS Walk held last month in Center City.
Many of the outside programs that students participate in provide opportunities for them to learn about people, ideas, and ways of life completely different from themselves, such as the hours that the Pre-Med Society
puts in at the Woodland Presbyterian Church soup kitchen and that the Muslim Student Association
contributes at Feeding Philadelphia. The Student Physical Therapy Association
held an athletic fundraiser with the Magee Eagles Quad Rugby Team in the ARC’s rec gym in October to benefit the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital here in Philadelphia. These experiences may sometimes challenge students to get out of their “comfort zones,” but they also help them to better appreciate the lives and challenges of other people who are different, and sometimes less fortunate, than themselves.
Students are also learning about social, economic, and health issues that are not limited to our own society, but which, in fact, may be global in their scope. Certainly, getting involved with international issues like the current influenza pandemic and the fight against AIDS helps students develop broader perspectives. A relatively new student organization, Project Child Relief
, focuses on the plight of children worldwide, and is currently sponsoring educational programs about child soldiers in Uganda, as well as raising money and collecting books to support the Sir Samuel Baker Secondary School in that impoverished country. They are also combining charity and fun in an upcoming volleyball fundraising tournament co-sponsored with another student group, A.I.D. – Americans for Informed Democracy
Speaking of fundraising for good causes, the students that often lead the way are the members of our Greek-letter organizations.
- Sigma Phi Zeta
, a local service-based sorority, has been living up to their focus on service and education by volunteering weekly at a local co-curricular program for elementary school students, as well as organizing a school supply drive. These women can often be found on Saturday mornings gathering early to travel as a group to their service site.
- Alpha Delta Theta
wrapped up their Heart Healthy Week with the Heart Walk on Saturday, November 14. They offered multiple events throughout the week to raise awareness of heart health and cardiovascular disease.
- Alpha Sigma Tau
offered their annual Alcohol Awareness Carnival last month, and it was a huge success. This annual event is more than just fun for the sisters and attendees; it’s an opportunity to confront the issues surrounding alcohol abuse in a fun and informative way.
- Kappa Epsilon
hosted their Breast Cancer Awareness week in October, which included events on campus and many students joining the sisters to participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Philadelphia.
- Phi Delta Chi
is in the process of re-colonizing here at the University and has started off with a bang. The group was re-started by 25 interested students (men and women), who are almost finished with their new member education process and should be initiated soon. The group has already been rising to the challenges of the semester, including hosting H1N1 and other flu prevention sessions and handing out information, as well as organizing a winter clothing drive that is running now. Tom Keyack PharmD’14, a former orientation leader, is serving the fraternity as the re-chartering president. Tom is also a legacy to the fraternity, as his father was a member and has been involved in getting the group up and running as well.
Students are spending many hours learning outside of the classroom–about themselves; about people in other social, cultural, and economic strata; and about issues that currently, and in the future, will confront them in their personal and professional lives. Their many hours spent each semester in educational campus programs, raising monies to support important causes, and participating in community service projects provides great opportunities for personal growth and making a difference in the lives of other people outside the University. These activities help open students’ eyes, and their hearts, to many local and global problems, and teach them about how to make a difference in the lives of others.