News and Events
|Event Number||Time & Date||Title||Description||Location|
|1||Fri, 9/13/2013 - 12:00 pm||Alpha Phi Omega: Adopt a Street|
|2||Tue, 9/17/2013 - 6:00 pm||Alpha Phi Omega Info Session|
|3||Thu, 9/19/2013 - 5:00 pm||Alpha Phi Omega: Take over Stars||Stars Lounge|
|4||Wed, 9/25/2013 - 8:30 am to 9:00 am||National Voter Registration Day|
|5||Thu, 9/26/2013 - 8:30 am to 9:00 am||Foot in the Door Fair|
University of Illinois Springfield students gave back to the Springfield community during the annual Welcome Week Service-A-Thon on August 30, 2013. Students worked various shifts throughout the day helping the American Red Cross Illinois Capital Area Chapter, Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County, Hospital Sister’s Mission Outreach, and the St. John’s Breadline. “We’re trying to give back to the community, we’re trying to connect students to the community on their first week of classes,” said Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center. Full Story and Video
Leadership for Life kicked off its academic year service projects with a retreat, welcoming in a group of freshmen who have dedicated themselves and the next year to service. It was a great day filled by ice breakers, more understanding of what L4L is, and for the grand finale a boat building project where the senior L4L members put their trust in their team mates as they built a boat out of random materials. Full Story
After 10 years of living on South Renfro Street, Wanda Burgess says the to-do list on her home was only getting longer. Her front porch needed to be refinished, the exterior needed a facelift, and the shed could use a fresh coat of paint. But being a homeowner in her 60s on disability, completing the projects on her own was a tall order and paying someone to do the work wasn’t feasible. Burgess’ to-do list got much shorter Monday thanks to a group of University of Illinois Springfield students who volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County. Her home at 1819 S. Renfro is one of five Habitat for Humanity, with the help of more than 200 UIS students, plans to rehab this week. Other homes to be worked on are at: 315 W. Ash St., 2200 Joyce Lane, 2028 South Grand Ave. E. and 1921 South Grand Ave. E. The initiative, launched last year and called A Brush With Kindness, uses volunteers to revitalize residential exteriors through painting, siding repair, landscaping and other improvements. Homeowners approved for the program buy materials though a zero-interest loan and complete 15 volunteer hours for Habitat for Humanity. “I can use all the help I can get,” said Burgess, 66, with a paintbrush in her hand. “I’m very grateful and know it’s going to look real nice when we’re done.”
A group of 28 University of Illinois Springfield students spent nearly a week in the Everglades helping to remove invasive plant species as part of the annual Alternative Spring Break trip. “They introduced these plants that weren’t native to the lands to try and give it more biodiversity, but the plants took over in a way that isn’t healthy for the environment,” said Paige Heiser, a junior business administration major and president of the Alternative Spring Break group. Full story and video
The Polar Plunge in Springfield is one of 20 being held throughout the state, and one of seven that was held on Feb. 23. The event is the creation of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. All of the money raised will go directly to the 21,000 athletes who participate in the Illinois Special Olympics. Full Story
On Saturday, February 16th, six students from the UIS Leadership for Life service program represented the University in the American Lung Association’s annual “Fight for Air Climb” at the Hilton Springfield. The students climbed 32 flights of stairs to raise money for the ALA, an organization dedicated to fighting asthma, lung cancer, and the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke. The group raised $551 in donations. The ALA describes the climb as “more than your same old 5K. This event is a vertical race to climb Springfields tallest building.” For climbers, the event is grueling, but deeply rewarding. The ALA proclaims that “the event is a great way to challenge yourself physically. We guarantee that all finishers will have a newfound respect for healthy lungs!” If you’re interested in the ALA and their important work, sponsor a climber or participate in next year’s Fight for Air Climb. The registration fee for the classic climb is $15, with a minimum of $100 in donations. The ALA holds many other interesting events throughout the year, too. For more info, call their Central Illinois branch at (217) 787-5864 or email them at email@example.com.
On Wednesday, January 30th, UIS students and faculty put their needle anxieties aside to help a worthy cause, collecting a total of 34 units for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. The center is a nonprofit organization serving 14 different hospitals in the area. Their work is especially important during this time of year, when sickness and injury are commonly caused by the cold weather.The event was held in the Lincoln Residence Hall, which has hosted many successful blood drives in the past. 37 donors participated, five of whom had never given blood before. First-time donor Kayla Ico replied, I was kind of freaking out at first you have a lot of time to think about how much that needles going to hurt. But it really wasnt bad at all, and I felt great afterward – like I really made a difference! If you werent able to make the UIS blood drive, dont sweat it; you can donate blood at the centers Springfield office on 1134 S. Seventh Street. The center also has a number of work and volunteer opportunities. For more information, go to cicbc.org or call them at (217) 753-1530.
Fifty UIS students distributed safety information to various neighborhoods and areas where the American Red Cross, Illinois Capital Area Chapter has seen the most fires over the past two years. The goal is to increase safety awareness through education to help lower the number of fires each year.According to the Springfield Fire Department, Increased risk of residential fire accompanies behaviors like smoking, inattentive grease frying, alternative heating (space heaters or stove heating instead of traditional methods), and even poor general housekeeping. Inadequate smoke and carbon monoxide detector use adds to the risk of death or injury.The UIS student volunteers are members of the following campus organizations: Alternative Spring Break, Black Male Collegiate Society, Leadership for Life, International Student Organization, Military Veterans Student Organization, and the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.
While returning UIS students were waiting to say their goodbyes to family and friends before coming back to campus this August, fifty-one of their first-year colleagues were already making a difference in the capitol community. These students built and improved the educational gardens for Ball Charter Elementary as well as assembled a playground for the Springfield Family Service Center through the KaBOOM! project. Working on the garden at Ball Charter Elementary brought back memories from when I worked on a garden at my high school, explained Mihai Smarandescu, a UIS undergrad, volunteering for the community is one step towards beautification and providing younger students with the opportunity to experience a new area of both learning and fun. Through this project, students have a tool in learning about how the gardens connect to their real lives, said Nicole Gales, principal of Ball Charter, students learn the importance of giving back to our school community as well as natural life skills. Some of these skills include learning to plant, grow, and eat healthy foods. As a result of hard work and dedication, the group received more than a thank you, for their services. This service project provided the opportunity for the newly enrolled classmates, to meet local community members, connect with others as well as establish bridges, explained Chanera Pierce, AmeriCorps VISTA.
National Voter Registration Day took place on September 25th and the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) took part in being one of hundreds of locations across the nation hosting a voter-registration drive. The purpose of the National Voter Registration Day is to bring public awareness to the necessary steps to become eligible to vote. The members behind the event suggest that in 2008, 6 million Americans didnt vote because they missed a registration deadline or didnt know how to register. Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, said members of different student organizations, both Republicans and Democrats, worked together to organize the drive, which took place on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center. David Gill, the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 13th District, spoke at the event. Rodney Davis, the Republican hopeful, was unable to attend. Dochterman said he hopes the registration drive will encourage students to discuss issues that are most important to them. At UIS, he said students tend to be either passionate about politics or disinterested in the process. They get this idea that it doesnt matter if I vote, he said. Hopefully today, we can encourage people to vote and have conversations about why its important. Hannah Cave, a sophomore at UIS who helped organize the drive, said many of her fellow students, especially those not from central Illinois, didnt know how to register. Voting is one of the easiest ways to get your point across and what you want done, she said. The two hour event was able to draw a large crowd into the Public Affairs Center, and the university was able to register just over a 100 individuals to vote.