The Kernodle Center for Civic Life and Student Involvement foster community engagement and social well-being through volunteerism and philanthropy during Greek and Service Week.
“Fraternities and sororities on campus have always contributed to our community through philanthropic and service efforts, but this did not normally happen through our office and thus was not tracked and reported on,” said Andrew Moffa, assistant director of the Kernodle Center. “As a result, I have been working collaboratively with Alexis Swider in Student Involvement to strengthen this partnership and ensure the impact the Greek community is making is tracked and recognized,” said Moffa.
Alexis Swider, assistant director of student involvement for fraternities and sororities, shared the same sentiment on the development of the Kernodle Center and Student Involvement partnership. Swider stated, “I was able to connect with Kernodle at the beginning of my time here at Elon where we began conversations on how to engage the fraternity and sorority community within service and philanthropy opportunities within Kernodle. It happened that Kernodle’s Service Week was being planned for the same week as Greek Week, and we felt there was no better time than now to see what can come from this partnership.”
The main goal of Greek and Service Week was to utilize the connections and partnerships of both offices to help students within fraternities and sororities engage with and become more connected to the Alamance County community through volunteerism and philanthropy.
The week’s events included a school supply and hygiene donation drive for the Alamance-Burlington School System, a fall festival at the Boys and Girls Club in Burlington, a blood drive in partnership with the Red Cross, and a dog-treat-making event benefitting Burlington Animal Services. Other Greek-related events included a special College Coffee, a field day, a banner competition and the comeback of the Greek dance.
A major highlight of the joint Greek and Service Week was Philanthropy Day where Greek-lettered organizations tabled in the Moseley Center to raise over $36,000 from over 750 donors to support Elon’s sponsored Habitat for Humanity house.
“The overall impact of Elon’s Greek Week on our local community was truly amazing. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics, along with the Alamance-Burlington School System, Dream Center, and Boys and Girls Club significantly benefitted from the efforts of thousands of students representing our sororities and fraternities,” said Bob Frigo, assistant dean and director of the Kernodle Center. “We are grateful for all that took place and hope these experiences created a spark for students that will continue well beyond the week.”
Participants of Greek and Service Week were able to engage in community and social well-being by working with their peers and partnering with community organizations to provide various resources for the greater Alamance community. While working with their peers when volunteering, students experienced a sense of belonging in their commitment to serving the community. Students were also able to gain an understanding of the importance of community and social well-being through community engagement.
“Community engagement is very important to me as a student. Having a community that is supportive and engaged was something I looked for when I was touring colleges in high school,” said Chloe Freglette ‘24, Panhellenic vice-president of sisterhood and academics. “Having high community engagement encourages me as a student to perform better in the academic and extracurricular setting.”
Vivan Krause ‘24, Kernodle Center service ambassador, stated that community and social well-being also play an essential role in fostering civic engagement. “Getting out into the local community and interacting with local partners can help college students, especially the large Elon population that is coming from out of state, feel more in touch with their surroundings and set them up to be an active member of their community throughout their lives,” Krause said.
Other highlights of Greek and Service Week included members of the fraternity and sorority community practicing in activities with Special Olympics, campus kitchen cooking shift and 40 students volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club Fall Festival.
Both the Kernodle Center and Student Involvement found that the partnership in and of itself illustrated community well-being by providing networking opportunities for students in both offices.
“The idea of Greek Week is to shine light on the community as a whole, rather than specific councils or chapters. We are encouraging a sense of collaboration and support across all chapters to build on the sense of community where they now know and are friends with other members of the larger group that they may never had interacted with until this experience,” said Swider.
The impact of Greek and Service Week has paved the way for future partnerships between both offices. The partnership also opens the door for similar partnerships between other Elon campus organizations to create wider community initiatives that also promote community engagement and social well-being.