Today's Update: Monday, December 7

December 7, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, One of the most important co-curricular lessons for our students involves service, and one of the best ways for them to learn about and experience it is through Student Life’s Buck-I-SERV program. I’m sure you know that Buck-I-SERV takes students on week-long service projects around the globe over academic breaks.  

That is, until this COVID year. No pandemic is going to stop us from supporting students, however, and the Buck-I-SERV team has been hard at work creating an alternative program that is reimagined but produces the same learning outcomes.  

The first-ever virtual winter break service experience will be January 4-8, 2021. It lasts the whole week, and the schedule is online:  

Leaders Rebecca Delo and Connor Jones set out to recreate the components that make Buck-I-SERV Scarlet and Great: connecting with fellow group members, experiencing new things and connecting with unfamiliar locations, all without the actual travel.  

The program they’ve developed involves bringing students together with community partners. The vast majority of organizations that have hosted trips in the past are on board, eager to work with our students and help them understand the work their organizations are doing. They will also share virtual service opportunities and options for in-person service in instances where it is safe to do so.   

Students can focus on one of five key social issues: hunger and food insecurity, disability rights, education, housing insecurity and homelessness and environmental issues. Students select the one that most interests them and form small groups to work with partners who are influential in that particular area.  

There will be videos on social issues and a great deal of discussion and sharing. There are also some special elements, such as cooking with recipes from areas that they might otherwise be visiting.   

I’m proud of our team for leading the way with innovation, flexibility and resilience in this pandemic. Buck-I-SERV's winter break program is another Scarlet and Great example of how we can serve our students in new and imaginative ways.