‘ Big Things Are Coming’
‘ What happens when hundreds of Salukis come together for a cause? Big things happen!
It happens thought the year because it’s what we do and who we are! In fact, more than 3,000 students contribute more than 30,000 hours of community service on average each year. What could we accomplish if we came together for one big day,’ according to the Big Event at Southern Illinois University.’
An integral and vital component of SIU has always been service to the Southern Illinois region. I remember fondly McLeod Theatre’s student performers coming to my Grade School, at Eldorado, Illinois, to perform the most engaging performances. I knew, at a young age, that Southern Illinois University was a special place.
Former SIU President Delyte Morris came to Southern Illinois Normal University, a Teachers College, in 1948. ‘ He basically worked night and day for 23 years to promote SIU’s development,’ Visiting Professor Stephen Katsinas with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said.
‘ It was his life-and a manifestation of good social works embedded in his Methodist faith,’ according to Codell Rodriguez of the Southern Illinoian.
From agricultural assistance with the Southern Illinois Community to help with Clean Coal Technology for the deteriorating, one time great, Coal Economy of the region.
SIU was in the forefront and one of the first Universities to offer handicapped access and disability support services.
The popular comedian and political activist, Dick Gregory, speaks of President Morris’s lack of prejudice, ‘ He was one of the first powerful white men to not call me boy,’ according to Gregory. Mr. Gregory goes on to talk of having breakfast, after he ran track, with President Morris and his wife Dorothy in their home.
‘That’s exactly what we’ll do for the inaugural The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service, the largest one-day, student-run service project in the history of SIU Carbondale. We want to show our new and long-standing community partners how much we appreciate their support of our University,’ according to the Big Event.
Current Projects for the Big Event, to be held on April 1, 2017, are:
‘Carbondale Main Street – Volunteers will help beautify downtown Carbondale! They will participate in a large cleanup and planting day initiative.’
‘Green Earth, Inc. – To preserve natural areas for the benefit of Carbondale, Illinois and to make these areas available for education and non-consumptive recreational pursuits.’
‘Touch of Nature – Camp clean up and preparation and trail building. Volunteers will pick up trash an debris around the two camps as well as weather protect some of the outdoor wood structures. Volunteers will also work with staff to clean and build trails.
‘Keep Carbondale Beautiful – City-wide clean up. Volunteers will be assigned to locations across Carbondale to collect litter and recyclables.’
‘Autism Society of Illinois-Southern Illinois Chapter – Kick off Autism Awareness Week at Kroger and Walmart.’
‘Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale – Volunteers will help with 5K. Duties will include set up/registration, water stations, activity stations and clean/up.’
‘Humane Society – Animal care, painting, yard work and cleaning.’
SIU’s Leadership Development Program – Volunteers will help move the tree saplings to correct location, dig the hole for the tree, plant the tree, or reseal the hole around the roots.’
‘For Kids Sake – Volunteers will help prepare for the 17th Annual Art Auction. Responsibilities will vary.’ All listed on the Big Event at Southern Illinois Universes Web Site.
The fabric of Southern Illinois is inextricably woven with the fabric of Southern Illinois University. You cannot untangle them!
We in Southern Illinois rely upon our beloved University as the Beacon of Hope for our entire region. To speak of underfunding the brightest light in our area of relative economic darkness…is to turn your back on a significant portion of the Sate of Illinois.
The positive good…that SIU provides for the southern section of the Illinois…is a bargain!