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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 24, 2009

'Saturdays in Service' allows UI students to become engaged in community

University of Iowa students living in the residence halls can take advantage of a unique opportunity this year with the new program "Saturdays in Service" sponsored by University Housing. Events will start the morning of Saturday, Aug. 29, and will continue for six other Saturdays throughout the academic year. Future dates include Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Dec. 5, Feb. 13, March 27 and April 10. 

Ben Parks, Hillcrest Hall coordinator in the UI Office of Residence Life, said that students will have opportunities throughout this week to sign up for different ways to volunteer with a variety of local community agencies and nonprofits. He said they hope to have all residential students participate in the program throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to sign up in advance at the front desk of their residence hall or show up that day at Burge, Mayflower or Quadrangle Residence Hall to volunteer. Activities are set up for morning or afternoon shifts and range from one to three hours. Transportation will be provided for off-campus sites.

"Not only can students volunteer, but faculty and staff are invited to participate as well," Parks said. UI students, faculty and staff who volunteer will receive t-shirts for participation and learn more local community agencies, he added.

The new initiative will allow residence hall students to become engaged in the Iowa City Community by performing service with partner organizations.

"We are excited for our students to connect with the Iowa City-Coralville community," Parks said. "We also want them to connect with the IOWA Challenge and serve their community."

The IOWA Challenge is a mission statement for UI students, expressing important principles that help students succeed in the classroom and beyond including excelling, stretching, engaging, choosing and serving.

Activities students can sign up for include making cards for veterans and soldiers overseas and making bookmarks for local elementary children. Other activities include cleaning up the Quadrangle ravine, working with the Neighborhood Centers in Iowa City, building walls for Habitat for Humanity, delivering fruit and visiting with veterans at the Veteran Administration Hospital, and helping organize and clean the Ronald McDonald House.

For more information, visit or contact Parks at or 319-335-9168.

EDITOR'S NOTE: To find out specific times and locations to get video, photos or to interview students will be volunteering, contact Ben Parks at 319-335-9168 or George McCrory at 319-384-0012.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Tessa McLean