Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor
After an overwhelming amount of applications, the Year of Service Cottage Program decided to extend their program to Year of Services Teams. These teams were given guaranteed living arrangements in Morgan for their service in the community. This is the first time that these teams were given the opportunity to live on a hall for their service projects.
“This year we had a large number [of groups] that had really thought out planned projects and good proposals, so rather than declining groups because we didn’t have cottage space, we decided to move into having them in the residences halls,” Trish Wiggins said, Coordinator of Residence Life. Currently 2nd north Morgan and 1st south Morgan are the only halls that house the Service teams.
“If we have continued peaked interest we would definitely look at expanding,” Wiggins said. The teams do not make up the entire hall, but rather most of the rooms on the hall. These groups still function as normal cottages, completing projects off campus that benefit the community. The boys team is working at the eco center on river cleanups and building bat boxes, while the girls team is focusing their efforts on working with Summit Quest and Colleges Against Cancer.
Both these groups were picked based on their projects and how crucial a cottage would or wouldn’t be for them.
“We felt like we were able to provide them with space to do that in the traditional halls but it wouldn’t harm their project by not having the cottage space,” Wiggins said.
When it came time to decide on an RA for both halls, Wiggins said that they coordinated with the RA staff to find two that were service based and could guide the team in their projects.
Junior Coleman Ott, who was picked as the RA on 2nd south Morgan, initially applied with the team, and is excited to be working among them.
“Basically, I’m a guiding hand with the guys, helping them plan events and working on their project,” Ott said.
The other RA, Bella Robins, had completed service throughout her first year of RA work at Ford, Wiggins explained, and she believed that Robins would be a good fit for the girls’ team on 1st south Morgan. These RA’s are not expected to participate in the projects, but rather guide the teams and support their efforts in the community.
Other than having priority housing, the service teams don’t have all the added benefits that come with living in a cottage, but sophomore Elizabeth Bradshaw, who is a part of girls’ team is still passionate about her service work.
“I’m still excited to help Summit Quest because it is about the service and not about living on the hall or the perks of living in a cottage. The purpose of Year of Service is to go out and help the community not just live in a cottage with all my friends,” Bradshaw said.
Wiggins hopes that in the future the program might expand to include other residences halls, inspiring this same passion throughout more students.
“I think there is some value in having service orientated halls in every residence hall.”