Students gather at community farms and with local organizations for community service and new connections Twitter
By Shannon Sigafoos
Successful community gardens are built and sustained through contributions of time and resources from the communities where they are located. This happens when those who work in the gardens build relationships with each other and with the community around them. Participants in the Landis Center’s Pre-Orientation Service Program (POSP)—which unites first-year students with returning leaders, faculty, staff and community members in meaningful service before the fall semester begins—dug in and got their hands dirty at both LaFarm and the Easton Urban Farm just days before the kickoff of the fall semester. Under a blazing summer sun, other POSP students also met up with kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Easton for a good old-fashioned water balloon toss.
Each year, POSP includes 36 new students who connect with community members and upper-class students through different service options. In addition to service, students engage in activities that introduce them to the Lafayette campus and the city of Easton. On August 26, all of this year’s POSP participants took a walk downtown to immerse themselves in all the city has to offer.
“POSP creates valuable opportunities for incoming students to connect with the Easton community and to build strong relationships with each other,” says Chelsea Cefalu, associate director of the Landis Center. “It is entirely student-led, which gives first-years a student’s perspective on active citizenship and the practical ways they can consider their communities, both off and on campus, a priority in their daily decision-making.”