Be Berry week aims to encourage philanthropy

Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

Be Berry week, hosted by the Alumni Center, began in April 2017. Be Berry is a way to encourage students and staff to raise money for scholarships and school funding.

“It is about being a part of a community, serving others and not being focused on yourself,” Director of the Alumni Center Jennifer Schaknowski said.

Schaknowski said that this year the focus was on incorporating the act of giving. She said that through the multiplicity of meanings, ‘Be Grateful, Be Giving, Be Berry,’ will help hone in on the values that are important to an institution. With this representation, she aims to capture the spirit of Be Berry.

Schaknowski noticed the lack of campus-wide traditions, so a future goal is for Be Berry to become more ingrained into the community. This new tradition would be an increase in actions directed towards ones in need. She said the philanthropic cause is aimed to result in a familial celebration that brings both students and staff together.

Schaknowski said that the future will still be rooted in the charitable characteristics that the cause supports. She said the ability to care for yourself and others is a central focus of Be Berry and the personal effect charity has on others is important in a community.

Other future goals for Be Berry week include improving communication with students to share upcoming events.

“We are hoping to be able to rely more on text messaging,” Schaknowski said.

The Alumni Center employs a support team of students that seek new ways to reach students. According to Schaknowski, a sub-group of workers made up of marketing majors are always looking for creative ideas.

Schaknowski said that the personal effect of Be Berry can be seen in all community members.

“(Be Berry week) is an opportunity to think about giving back and being grateful,” Schaknowski said. “So, I like to think it will extend to beyond Berry.”

Sophomore Kathryn Lanyon said that Be Berry emphasizes involvement in the community. Be Berry encourages her to continue her contribution to others. Lanyon said that it provides a variety of perspectives on how students can get involved and connect on campus. Through student-work, clubs, activities and student research that Lanyon herself participates in, she said that Be Berry helps encourage support and activity from the students.

“(Be Berry week) means ‘Head, Heart and Hands,’” said sophomore Natalie Bailey, who participates in on-campus activities.

Bailey said that watching other students grow in their work ethic, academics and spirituality is a rewarding experience. Through the strong ties that she has developed with freshmen as a science tutor, she is able to share a common passion that Be Berry encourages.

“Since I have gotten to Berry, I have become more aware of the people around me,” Bailey said.

She also said that the strong community that is exemplified at Berry has increased her personal relations, contributed to her everyday life and can be applied to even the simplest actions.

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