By Maya King, Campus Editor
Posted 2:58 PM EST, Tues., Aug. 30, 2016
Over 350 Howard students, faculty and staff members gathered in Cramton Auditorium to live out Howard’s “truth and service” motto on the university’s third annual Day of Service, sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Chapel, Friday, Aug. 19.
@HUDOS2016 is off to a great start. Thanks to more than 1,300 registrants, our student leaders & @HURankin staff ! pic.twitter.com/dkBDCj2RhM
— Howard University (@HowardU) August 19, 2016
The day consisted of six specific initiative projects across 20 community sites around the District of Columbia area: Education, homelessness and poverty, environmental services, HIV/AIDS, violence and voter registration.
Among the day’s initiatives, however, was a newer and lesser known goal: Improving the relationship between Howard students and the surrounding D.C. community by encouraging freshmen to get involved.
“[Day of Service] is a time for tradition and discovery. We hear the news, but we don’t always see what’s going on in our own backyard,” said Na’ima Jenkins, public relations chair of the event’s committee.
The steering committee sees the annual service day as an opportunity for new students to navigate D.C. neighborhoods and embrace Howard’s culture of interpersonal learning through volunteering.
“Day of Service was the event that lead to my overall volunteerism at Howard and getting involved with the community in general,” said Deja Bryant, vice president of Howard’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter and a team leader at the Day of Service.
“I believe the fact that [it] falls during the Friday of Freshman Week is extremely strategic—it allows freshmen to be of service and bond with both their community and fellow Bison,” she said.
As Howard faces a battle with culture, Day of Service is a means of ensuring that it continues to maintain a legacy of truth and service.