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November 26, 2007

ULM students donate $5,000 to the Red Cross

The Freshman Year Seminar 101 classes at the University of Louisiana at Monroe will present over $5,000 to the Red Cross Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. at the ULM Library Media Room (6th floor).

The donation is a second annual tradition on the part of the FRYS students; each year, those classes have a community service component, raising funds with the intended recipient differing. The $5,000 donation will top last year’s $2,000 gift to the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home.

The idea for 2007’s donation was developed in conjunction with Chris Harris, assistant professor of English, who received a Service Learning grant incorporating a service-learning project into the Learning Communities. As per the grant, Harris stated, “Engaging in service-learning activities related to their majors will help students see how they can practically apply what they will study during their college careers as well as establish working partnerships with local community-service organizations.”

All FRYS classes worked together with the Learning Communities with disaster relief as the focus. The students asked donors for $1 in exchange for “FRYS boxes”; their names and boxes are included as project supporters, on display in the Student Union Building.

The section that raised the most money determined the beneficiary. The winners, FRYS section 50, taught by Anna James, chose the Red Cross, focusing on that organization’s crucial role in disaster relief.

James, a Student Success Center academic advisor and instructor of communication studies, praised her students’ efforts. “Despite having fewer students than other sections of FRYS, this class sold nearly 500 FRYS boxes and is an example of a few students rising to meet a challenge and impacting their community for good.”

Mary Elizabeth Sewell, coordinator of First Year Experience, originally implemented the program with her team of FRYS Peer Leaders in 2006, bringing all freshman students together to work on one project. Students would learn that they could make a difference as an individual by working collectively toward the same end.

Barbara Michaelides, director of the Student Success Center, also praised the students’ teamwork. “The goal accomplished by the students is a testimony to the difference one person, working in community with others, can make on others’ lives. We are extremely proud of what ULM’s students have accomplished through this project.”

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