Freshman Forum sets goals, includes 1,830 service hours

Members of Freshman Forum vote during their meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The forum’s service committee set a goal for members to complete 1,830 hours of service total during the 2013-2014 school year, commemorating the year the university was founded.

In addition to hosting events on campus, Freshman Forum has set a goal for the forum’s members to put in 1,830 service hours this year. 

To start collecting hours, members are going trick or treating for canned goods in seven neighborhoods around Florence on Oct. 31 to kickoff a canned food drive that will begin on campus Friday.

“We decided to set a goal of 1,830 service hours since the university was founded in the year 1830,” said Justice Gilbert of the service committee, which set the 1,830 hour goal.

At the Oct. 23 meeting, the service committee announced that drop off spots will be set up in various campus locations to collect cans for two weeks to allow students to participate. The service committee will deliver the cans on Nov. 15 to the Florence Help Center.

“I feel like everyone should take a little time out of their day to do something for someone else,” Gilbert said.  

Freshman Forum President Carson Hagood said that, although the forum has set a number of goals, he is pleased with their progress so far. 

“We not only want to meet our expectations and goals, but we want to exceed them,” Hagood said.  “We have a lot of great minds who are getting a lot accomplished, with which I am very happy.” 

Student Issues Committee Chairperson Mollie Schaefer is heading up efforts to get the campus recycling program built up. They would like to see recycling bins added in the residence halls and located in more places across campus than where they currently are, Schaefer said.  

“More recycling on campus will open up opportunity for more grants from the Alabama Legislature. They give grants to groups who are green,” said student issues committee member Alec Prince.

In an effort to raise money for SGA’s endowed scholarship, Freshman Forum will host Panera Night on Nov. 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Panera Bread. 

The finance committee announced the group will pass out fliers around campus to be taken to Panera Bread.  A percentage of the sales during the four-hour time slot will be donated to the scholarship fund.

To supplement this donation, Freshman Forum members donate loose change at weekly meetings to add to the collection.

“This is something small we can do to give back to UNA,” said Maggie Coan, public relations committee member.

The forum will also be partnering with SGA Senate to kick off a Nov. 7 carnival for the student body from 6-8 p.m.

“We’re going to be doing face painting, a cake walk, games and a lot of other stuff at the carnival,” said Steven Greer, a finance committee member.

The University Program Council and Freshman Forum will partner to host a mixer for students in the Guillot University Center from 7-10 p.m featuring DJ Papa Rooster on Nov.  22.

“[The mixer] is a way to get people in a relaxed environment,” said finance committee member Dylan McKelvey. “We want students to know that we’re on the same level as them. It is our purpose to advocate for the freshman class so that they won’t feel inferior to upperclassmen and SGA members, because of the stereotype given to freshman.”

The social committee got a bill passed at the Oct. 23 meeting that would allow the committee access to funds that would help pay for the DJ and supply drinks for attendees.

“I think it helps give the upperclassmen a way to teach the freshman how to fit in,” said UNA student Kelsey Aycock. “Being in that environment [at the mixer] probably helps with that, too.”

In addition to their November activities, Freshman Forum has several projects that are at the top of their agenda to accomplish during the 2013-2014 school year, Hopkins said.

Student issues committee member Dominic Summerhill is heading the video promotion project.  He wants to use Freshman Forum’s YouTube videos on its new Instagram profile, he said. 

The Instagram posts will include snippets from the videos to let students find out what Freshman Forum is planning.