Editor’s Note: This article was completed as an assignment for a class in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Acacia fraternity hosted its Civic Leadership Week, a seven-day series of service events, last week. Acacia members said they anticipated a broad range of students to participate in their events.
Cody Kennedy, freshman in secondary education, said the fraternity encouraged everyone to get involved.
“There will be students from the greek community, international students and anyone else that wants to participate in serving,” Kennedy said. “This is a week put on by Acacia, but it is for everyone to get involved with.”
The fraternity teamed up with both K-State student organizations and Manhattan community groups to organize a variety of service activities.
On Monday, Acacia members were trained by HandsOn Kansas State, a student organization that helps connect nonprofit organizations with students looking for volunteer opportunities. Participants went through training on how to take on leadership roles in service events and strengthen their partnership with HandsOn Kansas State.
On Tuesday, Acacia teamed up with Manhattan Good Neighbors, a nonprofit group that aims to foster good relations between city residents and K-State students through collaboration.
Acacia and Manhattan Good Neighbors, in their first collaboration together, held an event at City Park called Furniture Amnesty Day. The event allowed all Manhattan residents to donate old or unwanted furniture from 3-7 p.m. so other community members in need of furniture could have the opportunity to claim it for free.
Nicole Allen, coordinator for Manhattan Good Neighbors and graduate student in education, said the reason she thinks the event is important is because it encourages community togetherness.
“It benefits both community members and residents,” Allen said. “Everyone can come together for this one event.”
Allen believes around 180 pieces of furniture were donated.
Wednesday’s event was designed to promote recycling and preserve the environment. Volunteers went into the community to hand out trash bags and fact sheets about recycling and the fines for not picking up trash on someone’s property. They focused on areas heavily populated with students in an effort to encourage recycling, especially because Fake Patty’s Day was on the upcoming Saturday.
For Thursday’s service initiative, Acacia set up a booth in the K-State Student Union and in the Kramer and Derby Dining Centers to encourage students to register to vote or to switch their residency to Riley County, which enables them to vote while at K-State. Fraternity members said they felt it is important for each student to participate in elections and to become active leaders in the Manhattan community.
The fraternity refocused their efforts to recycling on Friday, promoting recycling throughout Manhattan. Volunteers met at Acacia’s house at 2 p.m. on Friday to start handing out flyers and trash bags.
Fraternity members traveled to Ogden on Saturday to the Friendship House of Hope, a Christian-based organization that provides food, health items and other small donations to approximately 50 Ogden families each week who are living under the poverty level. While there, volunteers sorted through articles of clothing and performed other household chores.
On Sunday, the last day of Civic Leadership Week, Acacia members were accompanied by a group of volunteers from Minnesota who stopped through Manhattan during a spring break service trip. The groups worked together to help clean up Aggieville after Fake Patty’s Day.
Daniel Theisen, Acacia member and sophomore in mechanical engineering, said the week has become important to the fraternity.
“Our fraternity’s motto is human service,” Theisen said. “That’s why we wanted to do Civic Leadership Week, and I feel that we have accomplished the definition of community service this week.”