Student Activities Grows From Giving Back
Dec. 19, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Story by Hannah Haney
In the spirit of the season, the Department of Student Activities fostered the gift of giving to the Sam Houston State University community by hosting their annual canned food drive benefitting the Good Shepard Mission of Huntsville at the Tree of Light Ceremony on Nov. 28.
Each year the Tree of Light Ceremony relies on support from the community and continues to grow in size and in impact. At the helm of the December event is Director of Student Activities Brandon Cooper. He led his staff and a number of student volunteers as they organized, planned and implemented the Tree of Life ceremony and canned food drive. Through their efforts the organization received over 3,000 canned goods which were delivered to the Good Shepard Mission on Dec. 8.
The Department of Student Activities leadership team is composed of individuals who exemplify selfless service, are hard-working and practice compassion in their daily lives.
“Our department has an amazing leadership team. They are consistently working on ways to improve our current programming for the student body as well as come up with new and developmental ideas. They are creative, collaborative, innovative, intentional and empathetic in their approach to all of our programs, initiatives and areas,” Cooper said.
Though the leadership is an essential element of the Tree of Light ceremony, he stresses the importance of student volunteers to the overall success of the event.
“Giving back, in any scope is a key foundation for a society that is growing and developing. Engaging with Bearkats and encouraging them to participate in service opportunities is our way of preparing them to be more active and philanthropic members of society,” Cooper said. “This even holds true in a stronger sense for our university, with our motto being ‘The measure of a Life is its Service.’”
Cooper has been with the Department of Student Activities since April of 2006 as a full-time staff member and became director in July 2016. He believes it is important not only to promote service but to also be diligent in communicating the overall impact and reach of their good works.
“Instant gratification is not always immediate with service opportunities. We try to incentivize students in various ways, as well as making sure that we inform them at a later point, as well as the entire SHSU community, of insights into who we have impacted and how.”
The Department of Student Activities has been donating cans to the Good Shepard Mission for over a decade. Their upcoming projects include looking at avenues to add service components to the Spring Welcome Week, various athletic support programs, Fall Welcome Week, Battle of the Piney Woods and the SHSU Homecoming. Students are also encouraged to contribute their own ideas about ways the department can better serve the community.
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