Sunday, October 1, 2023

Honors class gives back to community

By Aleksandra Sidorova

As a final project, students of HON189 Democracy and Education: Banned Books, taught by Professor Jean Ann Hunt, hosted a clothing donation drive Dec 3. One of the students, freshman history major Jonathan Smith said that the class collected 20 garbage bags of clothes.

The project pushes each student to participate in their community, which is an important part of a democratic society.

“The big thing we talked about in creating democratic schools is being able to, in your educational experience, go out into your community and work to make change in it,” Smith said. “See what your community needs and address those needs.”

The drive was held at Angell College Center from 5:30 to 8 p.m. All the students in the class took shifts managing the table and accepting donations. Some students, like Smith, brought clothes they had collected from their family during Thanksgiving break. Another student in the class, Cassandra Levy, a senior nursing major, donated a bag of clothes from an elementary school where she completed a clinical rotation. The organizers encouraged students to bring fall clothing, but they received all kinds of clothes, including shoes, shirts, hats, socks and underwear. Smith reports that there were particularly many coats among the clothes donated. 

The goal of the project was to “make a lasting impression” on the community, Levy said. 

The students decided on clothes because of their immediate effect as compared to money, and the constant need for clothes in the community.

“It’s one of those things you can see its initial effect, because as soon as you give it, it can be used, and it will always be used,” Haley Redlecki, a freshman nursing major in the class, said.

Smith thought that donating clothes was an option most accessible to college students, as students are more likely to have clothes they no longer need.

“I know there’s a food drive [on campus,] but as a college student, I don’t have a lot of excess canned food,” Smith said. “Everyone has clothes, everyone needs clothes.”

The event was developed, promoted and run entirely by the students.

“All the times we were brainstorming and planning, [Hunt] wasn’t involved,” Smith said.

According to Levy, the class has not yet decided where the clothes would go, but suggested that they would be distributed among some of the local schools, churches and charity organizations.

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