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Volume CXXXIII, Number 5
October 10, 2003

Bowdoin community spreads Common Good

Common Good Day volunteers help immigrant students fill out college appplications at the Kennedy Park Study Center in Portland. (courtesy of Caitlin MacDonald)
Two-hundred and fifty Bowdoin community members proved Saturday that there is more to college than parties, homework and Roots concerts. The event was the fifth annual Common Good Day, which brought together students and staff in over 40 community service projects throughout the Brunswick area.

Despite the dismal weather, volunteers made pilgrimages to many off-campus sites, including Thorton Hall retirement community and Amenity Manor, where they spent the afternoon with senior citizens. Other projects included painting offices at Sweetser, cleaning up the Town Commons, and taking inventory at the Woolwich Historical Society.

For some students this was their first year participating in Bowdoin's biggest community service project.

Lisa Peterson '07 found her first Common Good Day was an experience she looks forward to repeating in the future. Peterson led groups to Amenity Manor where she and other students entertained residents with music, games, and conversation. For Peterson, this service was more than just a way to get involved. "I thought it was a good opportunity to make a difference in the community and I also felt it really united the campus," she said.

This feeling of community was one of the reasons that senior Kate Leach decided to get involved with Bowdoin's service program. Kate began by interning with the service office and later was offered a work-study opportunity that put her in charge of events like Common Good Day. Leach said the Brunwick community reacted positively toward student involvement in programs such as these. "We have a lot of companies that we work with that really look forward to this day every year," said Leach.

In addition to these companies, new partnerships are made every year with non-profit organizations that feel they could use some assistance.

Next year the service office hopes to include 400 students and expand its list of service projects even further. One thing many students would like to see next year is more involvement from the faculty.

"It's nice to see people out there like the dean, the president, and the faculty, all getting involved," said Leach. "Students really like to see the school stand behind their word."

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