Scrolling Headlines:

Lecture attempts to answer whether treatment of depression has resulted in over-prescription of SSRIs -

December 12, 2017

Palestinian students on campus react to President Trump’s recent declaration -

December 12, 2017

Smith College hosts social media panel addressing impact of social media on government policies -

December 12, 2017

GOP Tax Plan will trouble working grad students -

December 12, 2017

Mario Ferraro making his mark with UMass -

December 12, 2017

Minutewomen look to keep momentum going against UMass Lowell -

December 12, 2017

Ames: UMass hockey’s turnaround is real, and it’s happening now -

December 12, 2017

When your favorite comedian is accused of sexual assault -

December 12, 2017

A snapshot of my college experience -

December 12, 2017

Homelessness is an issue that’s close to home -

December 12, 2017

Allowing oil drilling in Alaska sets a dangerous precedent -

December 12, 2017

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is a television triumph -

December 12, 2017

Some of my favorite everyday brands -

December 12, 2017

Berkeley professor researches high-poverty high school -

December 11, 2017

Rosenberg steps down as Senate President during husband’s controversy -

December 11, 2017

Students aim to bring smiles to kids’ faces at Baystate Children’s Hospital -

December 11, 2017

‘Growing Cannabis On the Farm’ event held at Hampshire College -

December 11, 2017

UMass women’s basketball defeats Saint Peter’s for third straight win -

December 11, 2017

Celebrity culture could be a part of the problem -

December 11, 2017

Mulligan’s defense, rebounding helps push Minutewomen past Saint Peters -

December 11, 2017

UMass volunteer group UCAN seeks to expand

Courtesy of umass.edu

The University of Massachusetts Commonwealth Honors College has recently decided to formally sponsor campus volunteer group UCAN Volunteer to increase student volunteering on and off campus.

The Commonwealth College now allows the group access to school resources and use of some space on campus.

The University Community Academic Network (UCAN) is a student-run group that connects UMass students to volunteer opportunities in Amherst while avoiding pre-requisite classes and weekly meetings. The group has more than 100 members.

Forgoing a formal weekly meeting, the group, headed by juniors Kurt Schultz, Seamus Hughes and Sam Mardell, instead asks volunteers to attend an orientation meeting in the Goodell Building lounge.

These orientations – headed by Kimberly Stender, volunteer coordinator for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public School District – train volunteers in the policy and procedure of working with Amherst.

While they lack a formal office now, Schultz said the group was “seeking to obtain an office to help answer students’ questions,” in keeping with its “easy accessibility to students.”

Most volunteer positions available from UCAN concern working with schools in the Amherst area. Positions range from after-school tutoring to aiding students during school-sponsored ski trips.

Also available for potential yet busy volunteers are one-day opportunities organized separately from the school volunteer program.

These opportunities, led by juniors Michael Kalfopoulos and Samantha Williams, focus more on community service in the wider Amherst area, rather than within the public schools.

Future one-day events continue to be in the works, Schultz said.

UCAN began more than two years ago in Orchard Hill and had about 25 members in its first year.

Seeking to continue the volunteer work they did in high school, the three formative executive officers desired a group that “didn’t require taking a course or attending a weekly required meeting,” Schultz said.

Unable to find the group that they sought, Schultz and his colleagues instead formed their own volunteer group upon requesting opportunities from the local principals of the district.

Finding the desire for volunteers to be higher than anticipated, UCAN became a “volunteer bridge between UMass and the Amherst community,” Schultz said.

In fall 2011, UCAN hosted “Halloweenfest,” which allowed UMass students to organize and facilitate a trick-or-treat event for Amherst’s children in the Bangs Community Center. Halloweenfest was complete with haunted houses and other Halloween themed activities.

Schultz said UCAN is more “a network than a group” and continues to attract more student volunteers each day. Students interested in joining UCAN should contact the group’s leaders by email at ucanvolunteer@gmail.com.

Mitch Scuzzarella can be reached at mscuzzar@student.umass.edu.

 

Leave A Comment