Students join Maine Campus Compact service trip to New Orleans
Two Bates College juniors will join six students from the University of Maine system’s Orono and Farmington campuses, and two Maine Campus Compact leaders, in New Orleans during the week of February break to work on construction projects with Habitat for Humanity. While there, Michael Wilson of Groton, Mass., and Brooke Miller of Arlington, Va., will meet with local residents who have been affected by the hurricane and will reflect on the concept of service.
“Our aim for the project,” Wilson says, “is to make connections between service and need in Louisiana and service and need in Maine, so that the five-day experience becomes part of our larger development as good citizens and friends.”
As part of their effort, Miller and Wilson hosted a series of pre-trip talks at Bates about the spirituality of service, including one by Gregory Rosenthal, Bates Class of 2005 and winner of the 2004 William Stringfellow Award for Peace and Justice, who works for a small religious-based homeless shelter in Schenectady, N.Y. Miller and Wilson plan to use observations from these preliminary discussions as a basis of comparison for what they will accomplish in New Orleans.
Upon their return to campus, the two Bates students will deliver a report to conclude the series. Their final presentation will evaluate their trip. They will consider, says Miller, “what we find spiritual in service and how we plan to live in Maine in light of the experiences we had.”
Maine Campus Compact is a coalition of 19 college and university presidents committed to the civic purposes of higher education. To support this civic mission, Campus Compact promotes community service that develops students’ citizenship skills and values, encourages partnerships between campuses and communities, and assists faculty who seek to integrate public and community engagement into their teaching and research.