MLK Day of Service unites students and community

Katarina Kovac, Staff Reporter

Every year, Oakland University honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with several community outreach events. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is significant to OU because it upholds the essence of the school’s vision to support individuals and communities served by the school.

On Jan. 20, OU students will unite for a common mission, which is to improve the lives of others through volunteering at local nonprofits.

A diverse group of nonprofits are taking part in the event. These include the Oakland County Pioneer Historical Society, Harbor Chase of Auburn Hills, Green Living Science, Turning Point, Arts and Scraps and Rippling Hope.

The day begins with registration from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in South Foundation Hall’s Fishbowl Lounge and will wrap up at 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Hannah Clark, graduate assistant of leadership and service at the Center for Student Activities, was in charge of planning this year’s MLK Day of Service.

“It’s a time when students go out into the community, give back and volunteer at local nonprofits,” Clark said. “Students can expect to get a feel for the different nonprofits they’re going to.”

When students sign up, they get an option to choose their first site preference and their second site preference. By looking up these nonprofits and seeing their various mission statements, students will be able to see what nonprofit they most align with.

In addition to volunteering during the event, students will also get to talk with contacts at the nonprofits and explore further opportunities with the nonprofit they choose.

“If students are interested in learning about volunteering again or how the organization operates, they will have that accessibility,” Clark said.

In addition volunteering, students who participate in the MLK Day of Service will get a chance to get to meet other students on campus who want to make a positive impact and difference in the lives of others as well.

“It’s always fun when we do these campus-wide events and see a large amount of students coming together for the same cause,” Clark said. “There is an overwhelming sense of positivity that comes out of it.”

Events such as the MLK Day of Service remind students and faculty that they are a part of a larger community.

“This is an opportunity for students to give back to their community,” said Marcel Kroni, a senior at OU. “There are so many nonprofits and so many people in the community that need our help, so it’s a great way to give back but at the same time meet other students.”

The MLK Day of Service is a tradition that has been happening for many years, and as students give back, they may also find themselves becoming surprisingly further involved with the nonprofit of their choice in their process.