The Office of Community Engagement has a wide variety of initiatives created to better integrate students, staff, and faculty with the broader community. Here are a few of our top events and programs. For information concerning upcoming events and opportunities, be sure to check out our calendar!
SPARC (Service, Philanthropy, Activism, Rollins College) is a day where all incoming first year students participate in a day of service, education, and action in the Central Florida community during fall orientation in August. SPARC is meant to ignite interest and passion in the newest members of the Rollins community, encourage them to ask tough questions about themselves, others, and the issues facing communities in the 21st century. This experience is continued through multiple academic service-learning and research projects, immersions, and reflections throughout the semester in their Rollins College Conference (RCC) first-year seminar course. SPARC should also challenge the students to engage as active participants in creating a life of citizenship, leadership, and action that starts in their first semester.
Be A Part From The Start is a week long program during the beginning of the fall semester in August. The purpose is to encourage incoming and returning students, faculty, and staff to be active members of both the Rollins and Central Florida communities from the start. Offices from across campus collaborate to organize a variety of different events that engage the campus and promote global citizenship and responsible leadership. The events range from academic discussions to awareness and active service in the community. The past two years the different events have all been inspired by the theme of the first year reading book.
Halloween Howl is an annual event in October that brings over 1,500 members of the Central Florida community to campus for a Halloween celebration. This is a free event for families to attend, and it provides a safe space for children to dress up and celebrate Halloween as a community. Rollins students participate by hosting carnival booths and craft activities on Mills lawn, creating haunted houses out of residential space, getting involved on the planning committee, and being general volunteers at the event.
Holiday FunFest is an annual event in December that brings about 50 foster children from the Central Florida community to the Rollins campus during the holiday season to participate in games, crafts, and other holiday fun. This is a free event for the foster care children, families, and organizations, giving the foster parents and staff members a break for one night and gives the children a night of holiday fun. Volunteer opportunities at Holiday Funfest include: being a buddy for the day to one of the children, purchasing a gift for one of the children, or running an activity table.
Hunger Banquet is an event that brings awareness on campus and provides education about hunger and homelessness as a major worldwide issue faced today. The objective of the event is to simulate the reality of social injustice and unequal food distribution in the world. During this interactive dinner, each participant will have a chance to experience the social injustice that many people in the world face every day and then learn about ways they can volunteer and be active in their community.
Pathways to College at Rollins is a program designed to meet the needs of students who may not ordinarily be exposed to the idea of college. The goal of the program is to promote enthusiasm for college as a future goal in the lives of all students, K-12. More specifically, the hope is to teach younger students the importance of college and to prepare older students for their future matriculation to college. Activities include a campus tour, Q/A sessions with staff and students, courses taught by Rollins faculty, lunch with current students, and special sessions that include improv, art, and learning foreign languages. Volunteers are needed throughout the day to lead the classes around, help out during lunch, give tours, and to sit on panels.
For more information concerning Pathways to College, click here!
Every Thursday from 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m., Rollins faculty, staff, and students have the opportunity to take part in making a difference in Central Florida in only 5 minutes right outside the Cornell Campus Center. Projects have included: cards for children in the hospital, bags of love for the homeless, fundraising for disaster relief, and petition signing for policy change.
SummerSERVE is a campus community initiative that connects students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Rollins College to continue their engagement with the local community throughout the summer months. SummerSERVE gives everyone the opportunity to build meaningful relationships through direct service, community engagement and education.