FYSOP Volunteers Arrive Today
Record attendance for program’s 22nd year
Summer vacation is so passé.
A record 1,015 freshmen (a quarter of the Class of 2015) arrive on campus today to volunteer for a week of community service in and around Boston through BU’s First-Year Student Outreach Project.
“I’m looking forward to having my first experience at Boston University be one of service and to be surrounded with other same-minded students who would rather serve than have an extra week of summer,” writes Alyssa Pizzurro (CGS’13) on Facebook, where hundreds of FYSOPers have already been connecting.
FYSOP, one of the Community Service Center’s most popular programs, is a huge and growing undertaking. More than 200 staff members have worked for the past six months to make this week’s event a success. Freshmen will log 20,000 hours of community service in one of 10 areas: children, disabilities, elders, the environment, gender focus, HIV/AIDS awareness, homelessness and housing, human rights, hunger, and urban renewal.
FYSOPers move into their dorms this afternoon and gather for the first time tonight at the George Sherman Union’s Metcalf Ballroom. Tomorrow they will learn about their assigned groups, and the rest of the week they will work at various sites in the greater Boston area. A closing ceremony on Friday night caps the week’s activities.
Each day, the groups will visit a different organization, where they’ll have diverse experiences. Some from the children’s group will be in Cambridge at the Salvation Army’s Our Place, playing with homeless infants and toddlers. Human rights volunteers will go to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution–Framingham, a medium security correctional facility for women, for a roundtable discussion on current events with a few inmates. And environmental volunteers will clean the river and restore trails at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, in Topsfield. Volunteers will also paint six murals around Boston to beautify graffiti-marred or blighted areas, leaving a visible reminder of FYSOP volunteers’ work.
Each night, freshman volunteers will gather back at BU to discuss their experiences and explore their new backyard. There will be walks along the Esplanade or around Boston Common, quidditch games at Nickerson Field, and a showing of Zoolander at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre.
By the end of the week, participants will not only have done good, they’ll have made dozens of good friends, beaten the move-in crush, and shaken—at least to a degree—that new freshman feel.
Participating in FYSOP “completely changes you and your view of community service,” says Seth Orensky (COM’11), who shares the title of FYSOP program manager with Holly Nicely (CAS’11). “There’s no better way to transition to college.”
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