New students get acquainted with New London through service
During their first full day at Connecticut College, 490 members of the Class of 2017 and 14 transfer students fanned out across the College’s host city to work together on several community service projects.
Part of a robust orientation program, the New London Community Project is designed to introduce new students to the city and the many volunteer and service learning opportunities available to them, all while benefiting the College’s community partners and helping students get acquainted with each other.
At the various sites, including elementary schools, Ocean Beach, the Gemma Moran Labor Food Center, the Homeless Hospitality Center and the F.R.E.S.H. Community Gardens, students painted fences, removed trash, weeded overgrowth and helped run a community event that prepares local elementary students for the first day of classes.
“This immerses you in the New London community right away when you get on campus,” Jared Parlin ’17 told New London’s The Day. “And it creates a better bond between the college and the community.”
Associate Dean for Community Learning Tracee Reiser told The Day that the event introduces students to the values of the liberal arts.
“We want them to study and understand the challenges communities face and work with others to address them,” Reiser said.
New London Mayor Daryl Finizio kicked off the service day event, addressing students in the College’s auditorium before they boarded busses for their destinations. He told the students they had the potential to make a big impact on the city, and encouraged them to make service an integral part of the Connecticut College experience.