NJIT’s Civic Engagement Week, an important university-wide event, transpired this past week from Monday, September 12 to Friday, September 16. NJIT and its students have always placed a high value on civic engagement and community service, as it is one of the four mission pillars for the University. Through students’ service at NJIT, off-campus in Newark, the state, and even the nation, NJIT students and graduates are prepared as citizens and leaders. Annually, over 1500 students donate their time in service efforts on and off campus. Although only Honors students and Greek students are required to do community service, many choose to do so in an effort to give back to their community, and during this week that fact was very visible. Students from every facet of the NJIT community came out to show their support for the community, and were all eager to take advantage of the many programs showcased.
This past week students participated in a variety of activities organized by Sherlene Ayala from the office of Campus Life, including freshman elections, Grocery Bag Messages with Circle K, and Constitution Day trivia. Students also had the opportunity to sign up to help build with Habitat for Humanity, climb the World Trade Center, and attend the United Nations Peace Day Summit. These events were popular among students, as limited spots for trips were quickly filled and the tables outside the bookstore were always swarmed with students who want to get involved in their community and beyond.
To expand on one of the events, Grocery Bag Messages with Circle K, volunteers joined Circle K in writing uplifting messages and compliments on small notes to be put in grocery bags. These grocery bags will later be delivered to the local Newark ShopRite Supermarket. The goal of this project is that these small compliments will uplift and brighten people’s days.
Students who want to continue to help the community can turn to the Civic Engagement Office for possible service opportunities. The office, run through Career Development Services, manages ten community service projects throughout the year and sponsors National Volunteer Week in April. In order to continue to fulfill their civic duties, students should also remember to register to vote for the 2016 presidential election, as the deadline to register in New Jersey is Tuesday, October 18. Information on how to register can be found at http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information.html.