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April 16, 2012
By Misha Ray
On Saturday, March 30, approximately 45 students arrived on campus early in the morning to rake leaves, paint fences, do yard work and pick up garbage on the University of Nevada, Reno campus and surrounding neighborhoods.
This community service day, called Mackay Service Day, was hosted by the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) in an effort for students to give back to the community, said Julia Lapham, director of Traditions for ASUN.
"We originally had this idea based on former Gov. Kenny Guinn's desire to have students involved in community service," Lapham said. "Our community does so much for us, we wanted to do something to give back to the community."
For Mackay Service Day, ASUN reached out to community members who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the University campus for projects they may need help with around their house. There were nine requests from neighbors and all requests were accomplished during the three-hour service day.
"We had a variety of requests from neighbors," Lapham said. "They ranged from pulling weeds, raking leaves, shoveling gravel and other outdoor projects."
Students who participated in the event ranged from Greek members to liberal arts students to engineering majors.
Denver Liu, 21-year-old engineering major, said he thought the experience was a great way to show University students care about the community.
"I think being involved with the community is one of the most important aspects of society," said Liu. "By doing community service, you show that you care about the people and the place you live in. Mackay Service Day was a great event that highlights the importance of helping each other out."
The event was named after John Mackay, a large benefactor and important figure to the University, to preclude the annual Mackay Week celebration on campus hosted by ASUN from April 15 through 20.
Lapham says there are plans to continue Mackay Service Day in years to come.
"There will always be ways for students to help our neighbors by doing projects like this," she said. "It would be great if more students and neighbors become involved in the years to come."
For more information about ASUN, visit the Nevada ASUN website.
Misha Ray is a student writer for University Media Relations