Boys and Girls Club
On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Join Us in Making Progress (JUMP), a student-led community service organization affiliated with the Office of Community Engagement, brought approximately 30 students from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida to campus. Close to 20 volunteers spent a fun afternoon playing games, eating dinner and getting to know the students from this organization that provides a safe-haven to local teenagers.
Sofia Macias ‘13, one of the organizers of the event, was thrilled about the number of Rollins students who got involved. “It was great to see Rollins students glance over at the event while walking past and decide to get involved. Not only was the Boys and Girls Club event a great de-stressor for students, but it was awesome to see students from Boys and Girls Club bonding with college students just a few years older than they.”
Over the course of three nights, the offices of Residential Life, Multicultural Affairs, Community Engagement, Student Success, and Student Involvement and Leadership brought to life the annual House of Privilege with Rollins Underground. Participants walked through different “scenes,” watching their peers deal with issues like abusive relationships, religious and racial intolerance, class differences, sexual orientation and concerns about physical appearance. The walkthrough was followed by a video and a group discussion about the different types of privilege and underrepresented groups on campus.
“Rollins Underground challenged students to recognize and identify situations that could potentially become harmful if not addressed or challenged,” said OCE Americorps VISTA member Tocarra Mallard ‘10. “It was a great experience. I hope this inspires students to take a stand and move towards inclusiveness in the future.”
Coalition for the Homeless
Join Us in Making Progress (JUMP) organized an event on Sunday, Oct. 23. Over 30 volunteers spent the afternoon at the Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless, getting into the Halloween spirit by painting pumpkins and playing outdoor games with the younger residents. “Just seeing the kids smile and hearing them laugh reminded me that regardless of race, gender, culture, or socioeconomic status, children are essentially the same,” said Kayli Ragsdale ’12, a Hunger and Homelessness co-chair for JUMP. “They all want to be encouraged, supported, and loved. Some of the children at the coalition have faced tough life experiences. Our being able to devote a few hours to them allows them to forget about their troubles and just be boys and girls for a while. Devoting time to the coalition reminds me that sometimes it is the little things in life that can make a big difference.”
Costumed children stormed Mills Lawn demanding candy and an afternoon of fun at the 12th annual Halloween Howl on Saturday, Oct. 30. More than 2,400 campus and community members had fun trick-or-treating, completing arts and crafts, playing carnival games and twirling across the stage during the costume contests. In addition to all of the participants, including many costumed pets, over 50 different activity booths and three haunted houses were facilitated by student organizations, residence hall students and RCC classes. Activities included storytelling, sack-races, mummy-wrapping contests, broom races, zombie trivia, face painting and much more.
Other events throughout the day included performances by the Rollins Dance Team and the Rollins Women’s Trio as well as two costume contests for different age groups.
Amanda Wittebort ’13, one of the organizers of the event, was especially “impressed with all of the student organizations and all of the volunteers. They put their hearts into the event and gave a great experience to all of the families. Halloween Howl has always been my favorite event on campus because it is student-run with faculty and the Winter Park community all coming together for an afternoon of spooky fun.”
A committee of volunteers from the offices of Community Engagement, Student Involvement and Leadership, and Residential Life, as together with ACE and JUMP, planned every aspect of the event. Over 20 student volunteers, in addition to the countless students running various tables and booths, made this event possible.
“It was a great event for the community to come together in a safe environment. We had a lot of people show up and many adorable costumes,” said Jazzmyn Iglesias ’12, one of the student volunteers who helped with the event. “The event was an awesome success. We hope to keep making the future of Halloween Howl events better and better.”