Thursday, March 28, 2013

New SSD Office Providing Open Space for Disabled Students

At the onset of Spring 2013, Hofstra's Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) opened its new office in 040 Memorial Hall. The office arranges academic accommodations and provides support for students with physical, learning and/or psychological disabilities.

Once situated in both the second floor of Memorial Hall and several offices in Roosevelt Hall, SSD has consolidated its personnel to a singular, accessible location that gives students registered with the department the space they need to succeed on campus. “We are excited," said Victoria Simon, Accommodations and Communications Coordinator, SSD, "because our students are now able to access all of the services that they need from one place.”
SSD Director, Julie Yindra, helps students registered with her office
navigate the resources Hofstra has available for them, as well as
The basement office includes not only handicap accessible waiting areas and filing cabinets, but also a new computer lab wherein students registered with SSD are able to work independently on exams and assignments. All one would have to do in order to access the lab is fill out a "Sign Me Up!" form along with his or her professor and take it over to the lab in 034 Memorial Hall. This lab provides students with disabilities a separate space to focus on assignments away from the hustle and bustle of the classroom.
The entire office is handicap accessible, even the filing cabinets.
If you are a student planning on registering with SSD, or would like to learn more information about the department, email Victoria Simon or call (516) 463-7075.

A state-of-the-art computer lab is just down the hall for students
with disabilities who need extra time on exams.

Alternative Spring Break National Program Day 3!

Today was probably the most rewarding day we’ve had thus far.  It was also the saddest day, because it was our last day of service, and the unforgettable experiences we’ve had, have left us wanting more. In gorgeous weather, the members of our ASB team began by splitting into two separate groups. The first group was sent to clear out neglected items of our previous site’s former occupants (while dirty, was a positive experience!) so that the remaining students could move on to the larger task of demolishing the third and final site. The first group joined them a few hours later.
   Along with our neighbors for the week, students from the University of Delaware, we tore down an already-standing house in less than 6 hours! In amazement at witnessing the bulldozer collapse the structure, we gathered our tools and got to work. No one person was in charge as we were all novices in the practice of deconstruction.  However, as a team, we knocked down drywall until there was nothing remaining but the frame.  By the end of the day, the work site was completely cleared!

Below is a picture timeline of all that we accomplished today!
At the beginning of the day, a full house was standing

A few hours later we had removed all the drywall and siding

The bulldozer knocked over the house so we could carry the frame and roofing to the dumpster

By 3 pm, the entire house was gone!

Special moments of the day included lessons in “humility and flexibility.” Amanda, a local camp counselor whose program was destroyed by Hurricane Irene, helped us place a face with the situation. She explained to us the sites we are working on are in a depressed section of town, and that we were not only tearing down condemned structures, but rebuilding the community. Her gratitude for all we have been doing was humbling.

We started by tearing down all the drywall

After the house was down, we carried the debris to the dumpster

The fulfilling aspect of our service is not just in changing a situation, but in inspiring those affected by it. During Amanda’s speech, she thanked us for our loud cheers, which she could hear from her porch (unbeknownst to us) and claimed lifted the hearts of her neighbors. See the link below!

After three full days of challenges, we could not have asked for a better trip. Not only have we seen a change in Bayboro, North Carolina, but we’ve seen a change in ourselves through teamwork and bonding. Between helping others as well as one another, we have a full concept of why we choose to do service work. Coming together for a common good and realizing that the smallest thing can brighten someone’s day is a true gift. 

Above is a photo from our semi-professional on-site photo shoot with our ASB Men!

Blog written by:  Jeanine Russaw, Class of 2015 and Julia McGuire, Class of 2016

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Alternative Spring Break National Program Day 2!

As we began our second day in North Carolina, the sun was finally shining and we were ready to go!  While we did not get rained on today, the day certainly presented challenges of its own.  The Hofstra Alternative Spring Break crew continued to clear the last few bits of debris from our work site from the previous day, and it was especially rewarding how we worked together to reach the end result.  Once our work site had cleared, we began to assist our neighboring school group from the University of Delaware.  At their site, we were again faced with the daunting task of removing more personal items of the home’s former occupants which were damaged in the flood. Every item was a reminder of the importance of what we are doing and made us even more motivated to continue our work. 
One of the highlights of our day was helping to remove the concrete foundation of the old house to prepare for the building of a new home in the future. We found that some of our teammates have a real passion for concrete foundation removal and it was a lot of fun mixed in with a lot of hard work. Some even willingly gave up their lunch time to continue working.
We have to break up the foundation.
And then we can remove it!
 Perhaps the most important lesson learned this afternoon was “patience.” What we are realizing is that the goal of our work here is to bring about positive change in the Bayboro community that can be seen in the future—not for immediate gratification. The point of community service is not to get praised or complimented by the progress that your work has brought, but for a person to feel secure in the fact that they did a good thing for the sake of others.   
It's all about patience and teamwork!
 In the evening after reflection, we enjoyed the night with the world’s biggest Apples to Apples game (ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it was pretty big!). It was nice to relax and just laugh while we were all starting to feel the soreness come on from the day’s work. We are looking forward to what we will be doing next. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out!
We may be dirty, but all the debris is finally gone!

Blog written by:  Megan Kennedy, Class of 2014; Melaine Morgan, Class of 2014; and Jeanine Russaw, Class of 2015

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jail & Bail 2013

If you were wondering why so many students and staff found themselves in a makeshift clink located in the Student Center Atrium on Friday, March 15, we have the answer.

Hofstra Goes for Gold and the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, in conjunction Hofstra's Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA), hosted the 2nd annual Jail & Bail fundraiser for Special Olympics Long Island. The fundraiser had students, staff and faculty purchase "warrants" for colleagues, classmates and roommates to be "arrested" by Public Safety throughout the day. The students would then stand before a panel of judges who would set "bail" (the amount of funds they would need to raise to be released), and subsequently raise this amount from the confines of the Student Center jail.

Jail & Bail 2013 raised well over $8,000 and saw over 120 "warrants" issued on the day of the event. All of the proceeds went to Special Olympics Long Island, which will use the funds to sponsor several athletes from the area.

"I have been involved with Special Olympics since high school," said Hofstra Goes for Gold founder, Jenny Rowe, "so this cause has a special place in my heart. ...My club, along with Delta Alpha Pi Honor's Society and OSLA, brought Hofstra's first ever Jail & Bail to Hofstra last spring.  Even though it was the first time Hofstra had seen this event, many students and administrators loved it, which was truly amazing to see. There was a lot more involvement this year, which increased our funds raised by approximately $2,000.  We hope Jail & Bail will keep growing year after year!" And if the enthusiasm of the students involved (whether buying warrants or raising funds themselves) is any indication, this event shows no signs of slowing down.

For more information on how students are working to raise funds for various causes, or to get information for clubs on campus, visit OSLA's website.

Alternative Spring Break National Program Day 1!

The whole group is ready to work!
                Today marked the first full day of service for the Alternative Spring Break National Program where thirty Hofstra University students and two staff members are working with the National Relief Network in Bayboro, North Carolina. We arrived on site bright and early this morning to a pile of wood, shingles, doors, and pipes. A home that had been condemned due to water damage from last year’s Hurricane Irene was demolished and gutted out. While it was not highlighted in the news, the Outer Banks coast of North Carolina suffered greatly after Hurricane Irene came through. All day we broke up all the debris, mostly wood, and transported it all into dump trucks to be carried away from the site. 

The site before we started working
                It was a lot of hard work, but everyone was challenging and pushing themselves to try something new and not be afraid to get dirty! The Mayor of Bayboro even stopped by to thank us all for the work we have been doing and to say how much the community appreciates our help. After lunch, we had another popular visitor stop by, a golden shepherd that some of us have named Fred. Later on in the day dark gray clouds moved in, but we did not let the rain bring us down. We kept on working just as hard through the weather and the rubble turning the mountain of debris into a pile of mere shingles by the end of the day. Some may have looked at this pile as merely a pile of garbage, but we were aware that this used to be someone’s home. Occasionally we would find lost artifacts (a small child’s boot, a vintage dial-tone telephone) and we would set them aside as we continued to work, respecting the family who left them behind. They also helped to remind us all that the work we were doing was important. 

Everyone is working hard!
                In the evening we reflected upon the obstacles we experienced throughout the day, both literal and metaphorical. We not only braved through the rubble, but we developed trust in our fellow trip-goers. We worked together as a team, most notably when we formed an assembly line to carry all the water damaged debris to the dumpsters.  Moving forward we hope to keep our morale high throughout the week and look forward to learning new skills and making lasting friendships that last a lifetime.

At the end of the day, our pile was almost gone!

Blog written by:  Victoria Bohme, Class of 2014 and Claudia Balthazar, Class of 2014

Friday, March 15, 2013 to make your event work for you!

Sometimes it is difficult to figure out how to go about fundraising. Whether you are doing a bake sale, shaving someone's head or walking around a field for 12 hours it can be cumbersome to detail how to efficiently raise money. There are a few great examples that have happened this week and are happening this semester that can give your group ideas about getting the most "bang for your buck"! Phi Delta Theta Fraternity did an amazing job on a Friday raising money for the Wounded Warrior project. Their display was nice, their members were outgoing and they raised in 7 hours $610 !!!! Typically groups are only turning in about $10 and $80 per day. Those groups also are coming day after day to sit at the tables for hours instead of making one day work for them by figuring out how to attract the most students, staff and faculty to their table in the shortest period of time. Phi Delta Theta members really jazzed their table up, were color coordinated and collected inside army fatigue hats to match their wounded warrior theme.
Today we have "Jail and Bail" going on in the atrium. Last year these student raised money through pre-sale of "warrants" and then day of "bail" was set for each member "arrested" and between "warrants" and "bail" the group raised almost $7,000 for Special Olympics. This type of event takes more pre-planning and a committee of student to work for a few weeks before to prepare for the event. However, you can see that one week of "warrant" sales and one day of atrium work got them $7,000 during the first year of "Jail and Bail" . You could say that St. Baldrick's is this type of event as well. Roller Hockey works with the Dean of Students office to recruit people to shave their heads to raise money for research in pediatric cancer. Not only is this a good cause but, they are raising almost $20,000 with online donations and day of contributions. 
The type of events that raise the large money have other "events" attached to them like Relay for Life where participants get to camp out at the Intramural Fields and there are performances throughout the event. This keeps the participants going while they walk throughout the night but, also adds the fun to the event that makes students want to participate (and raise $100,000) . Similarly, tonight is the She's The First dance-a-thon in Hofstra USA. Although the idea of the dance-a-thon is a classic for fundraisers She's The First has made it fun by pre-selling and getting teams formed ahead of time to come out in silly outfits and enjoy themselves while great music plays! 
Every dollar counts and students do an immense amount of work each year with fundraisers just like this to benefit our global community. I hope that students start to rethink their fundraisers and how they can get the most out of their event or atrium time. If you need more ideas or suggestions please seek out your program advisor to assist you - or, speak to another club or organization that you have seen shine at fundraising! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

LinkedIn LunchIn

We are excited to let you know that the LinkedIn New York office has selected Hofstra (from only a few NY schools) to be a part of the company’s “InDay” program efforts.  InDay happens once a month where members of the LinkedIn team are encouraged to explore new networks in the community.

For Hofstra this means that on Friday, March 15 employees will be on campus to conduct a workshop and answer questions from students about the importance of building a network and how LinkedIn can assist them in their efforts.  The event is open to all students--undergraduate, graduate, and law.

LinkedIn LunchIn
Friday, March 15
12:30 p.m.
Plaza Rooms, Sondra and David S. Mack StudentCenter, North Campus

A free lunch will be served!

RSVP strongly encouraged on Pride-CMS, located under MyApps on the Hofstra Portal.

Questions? Call The Career Center at (516) 463-6060.