Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springfield Police donate bicycles to UIS Diversity Center checkout program

The Springfield Police Department donated six unclaimed bicycles to the University of Illinois Springfield’s Diversity Center Go-Green Bike Checkout Program during a ceremony on Thursday, April 22.

The concept of the program is to loan bikes, free of charge, to the University community. A user completes an agreement checkout form, agrees to the terms and conditions of use, and can borrow the bike for five days.

“Many of our students are international students, so they come to UIS and their not able to bring their own bikes,” said Jeannie Capranica, Diversity Center program manager.

Students, who often don’t have cars, use the bikes to travel off campus to shop at the grocery store and other locations. Diane Sahagun is a sophomore Communication major, who often uses a loaner bike to get around. She’s glad to see more bikes being added to the mix, because often there’s a long waiting list.

“I think it will help students a lot and it will make a difference,” said Sahagun.

The Diversity Center currently has seven bikes that it uses for the program, but maintenance has been an issue. The bikes being donated by the Springfield Police Department are safety tested and ready for use.

Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams is a UIS graduate himself. His department decided to donate to the Diversity Center because he knows the bikes will go to good use.

“It just gives us an opportunity to reach into the community and do a very worth wild service,” said Williams.

Williams says many of the bicycles that were donated are either stolen or have sat unclaimed in the evidence room for a long period of time.

The Diversity Center is currently looking to expand its bike fleet. If you have a bicycle you’d like to donate to the program or to make a donation to the fund contact Jeannie Capranica at 217/206-6333.

Visit the Diversity Center website for more information on the checkout program

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Monday, March 22, 2010

UIS students return home from Alternative Spring Break

A record number of University of Illinois Springfield students, who participated in Alternative Spring Break returned home on Saturday, March 20 knowing they made a difference.

The 45 students and 3 advisers spent a week in Galveston, Texas helping to clean up damage from Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008.

“Just having the opportunity to be down there was amazing,” said Jaleesa Earthely, president of the UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization. “I just know we gave the community back hope and that’s what I was looking to go down there to do.”

The group stayed at a local elementary school in Galveston with other students from across the country, volunteering for 8 1/2 hours a day. The UIS students took on the project as part of the One Mission Initiative, a faith-based organization.

“Some of these houses that we went into hadn’t been touched for like a year or more. No one had been in there to redo siding or drywall and that’s basically what we were doing,” said senior volunteer Zach Berillo.

The UIS crew was split into three groups on the trip and worked on a total of three homes, along with other property. While working on land owned by the City of Galveston they got an unexpected visitor.

“The mayor pulled up and thanked us for our efforts and said the things that we were doing are long overdue,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed last year, when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Students to spend Alternative Spring Break helping with hurricane recovery

A record number of students from the University of Illinois Springfield will spend their spring break volunteering in Galveston, Texas helping with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike.

The 45 students and 3 advisers will leave Springfield on Friday, March 12 and return to campus on Sunday, March 20. The group will stay at a local elementary school in Galveston with other students from across the country, volunteering for 8 1/2 hours a day.

The students will be primarily helping with rebuilding and refurbishing homes that were damaged by the storm. Volunteers will also be doing community outreach, visiting home-bound residents, helping to feed the homeless and assisting in other community-related activities.

“Lately there has been much focus on international disasters, but the devastation still felt in Galveston, TX due to Hurricane Ike in 2008 is a natural disaster our students felt compelled to help with after researching spring break volunteer opportunities. Whether it is in Texas or overseas, seeing our UIS students respond so enthusiastically to help others is a heart-warming experience,” said Kelly Thompson, director of UIS’ Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

The UIS students are taking on the project as part of the One Mission Initiative, a faith-based organization. The group’s mission is to “bring volunteers to Galveston to not only provide much needed help, labor, and support to the community here, but to also provide love, hope and encouragement”.

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed last year, when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at UIS visit the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center’s website at or contact Kelly Thompson at 217/206-8448 or

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Monday, October 05, 2009

UIS Homecoming 2009

Students, faculty and community members came to the University of Illinois Springfield campus on Saturday, October 3, 2009 to celebrate Homecoming 2009.

The day started with the inaugural Yellow Brick Road 5K Run/Walk that took participants on a scenic trip around campus.

One of the highlights was the UIS Homecoming Parade featuring student organizations, political groups and others. It was followed by the Homecoming BBQ & Lawn Party where students enjoyed free food, drinks, and fun.

The night ended with the UIS Students vs. Alumni/Faculty/Staff Basketball game at the TRAC.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome Week 2009 Activities

The University of Illinois Springfield greeted new and returning students with a variety of activities during Welcome Week 2009.

The Diversity Center held an open house in an effort to bring students of all races and backgrounds together. Students gathered to talk about what they have in common and what makes them unique.

The Involvement Expo on the UIS quad featured nearly 50 student organizations that help out in the community and promote education. Springfield-area businesses also joined in the expo to show students what they have to offer.

The 2009 "Foot in the Door" Fair was sponsored by the Career Development Center and brought 52 employers to campus. The goal of the fair was to bring students face-to-face with employers to discuss part-time jobs, internships and other opportunities.

The Office of Disability Services welcomed students during it's open house to show how they help students with special needs in the classroom. The office works with professors to make sure needs are met for students with chronic or temporary illness.

To also see slide show of welcome week activities click on the below link:

Welcome Week slide show

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Save a Life" Tour

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield got a hands on look at what it’s like to be drunk behind the wheel. The “Save a Life” simulator takes a driver from being sober to a .2 blood alcohol level.

This is the second year the “Save a Life” tour has made a stop at UIS. It was so popular in 2006 that Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coordinator Valerie Scarbrough decided to bring it back again.

“Most of all we’re encouraging kids 21 and younger not to drink, but if you are going to do it to do it safely,” said Scarbrough.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Flag raised for National Coming Out Week

By Courtney Westlake

In celebration of National Coming Out Week, a group of students, staff and faculty gathered in front of the Public Affairs Center to raise a rainbow-colored flag that will hang directly under the UIS flag for the entire week.

"Flags are critical symbols," said Jim Korte, assistant dean of students at UIS. "People fight and die over flags; people live for flags. We salute them, we put our hands over our hearts, and we respect what they symbolize. For those of us at the university, having it fly on the staff with our UIS flag is very important. It is a symbol of how far we have come institutionally and as a university in our acceptance, tolerance, respect and celebration of who we are as a community."

Universities are important communities, Korte said, UIS boasts a "great multitude" of diverse students.

"We've come a long way," he said. "We now have a Diversity Center existing on this campus that was barely a dream a year ago. We have a resource office that is in a very public area on our campus, and we have students stopping by on a daily basis."

Through celebrating diversity and respect of different races, sexual orientations, ethnicities and backgrounds, the university and community are beginning to "layer" their resources and ensure the services provided today will be available tomorrow, Korte said.

"We have come to the point of tolerance, the point of acceptance and the point of respect, and hopefully today it is the beginning of a celebration of our future," he said.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Potato sculpting held as part of homecoming activities

By Courtney Westlake

Castles, construction hammers and flowers filled the tables of the Public Affairs Center Food Emporium Patio on Wednesday afternoon.

Students and other campus community members stopped by the patio area on Wednesday to create mashed potato sculptures as part of the Homecoming Week activities.

"It's just a fun activity to add into the Homecoming schedule," said Beth Hoag, assistant director of Student Life. "Our theme for Homecoming this year is 'Pardon our Dust' so we're 'constructing' out of mashed potatoes."

The idea for the event came out of nowhere, Hoag laughed.

"I just thought it would be fun, and who doesn't love playing with their food?" she said.

Campus members were recruited from the Food Emporium to join in the activity during lunchtime.

"We've had pretty good showing," Hoag said. "We have feathers and wobbly eyes and food coloring, and you can just make whatever you want. We try to make it around the theme of 'Pardon our Dust' or UIS-related, but we're flexible. You can make whatever you want."

Participants constructed a wide variety of creations, from a pretty rose to a pumpkin to funny-looking characters to a Colonnade.

"It's something completely different that helps to make people aware of Homecoming," Hoag said. "It's a fun things to do in between classes."

For more information on Homecoming, go here.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

SGA election results

The Fall 2008 Student Government Association Elections were certified on September 19.


  • Senator – Capital Scholars Program: Kendra Chislom
  • Senator – Transfer Students: Whitney Kampwerth
  • Senator – Graduate Students: Sista Gautham
  • Senators at Large: Kalpesh Patel and Vanessa Sekardi

Many other leadership opportunities exist on SGA committees and all interested student are encouraged to become involved.

For information about election results or about student government, contact Cynthia Thompson, director of Student Life, at 6-6665.

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