Exploratory Day of Service: A Mercy tradition for first year Salve students
The Exploratory Day of Service is a longstanding Salve Regina tradition, welcoming incoming students with the understanding that a Mercy education is centered in the needs of our world.
Each September, first-year students spend a day together before classes even begin in service and solidarity with community partners all across Aquidneck Island, learning about the critical concerns of our local communities and the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: immigration, racism, women, earth and nonviolence.
Kelly Powers, Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service, welcomes each incoming class and reflects on the ways in which Salve Regina’s Mercy mission will shape their educational journey.
“One of the goals of the Center for Community Engagement and Service is to support first years in your journey to serve your community and to make a difference,” Powers said. “However, it’s is not just about volunteering for a few hours. It’s about learning about our partners, learning about yourself and making new friends.”
Students always get t-shirts designed to represent Salve Regina and serve as a memory of the Exploratory Day of Service, and they wear them with pride. Powers encourages students to see themselves as following in the footsteps of the Sisters of Mercy and to reflect on the University’s mission to work for a world that is harmonious, just and merciful.
“Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy once said: ‘We must strive to do ordinary things extraordinary well,’ ” Powers said. “Some of the things students do during this Exploratory Service Day are ordinary. But please don’t think of these things are ordinary. Think of them as extraordinary!”
During this service day, there will be shoreline clean up with Clean Ocean Access, envelop stuffing at the Edward King House, groups harvesting vegetables and flowers at God’s Community Garden and work at the Middletown Senior Center. Each opportunity is a first step in working towards a more harmonious, just and merciful community.
For first-year students, this Exploratory Day of Service marks the beginning of their journey at Salve Regina. And for many, this is the beginning of extraordinary friendships and the start of a lifetime of dedication to community service and solidarity.
The Center of Community Engagement and Service looks forward to welcoming the incoming class of students to Salve Regina this fall at our Exploratory Day of Service, continuing this tradition of Mercy together! If anyone has questions, please contact the Center of Community Engagement and Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each Monday, SALVEtoday will provide a service update for the University community on what faculty, staff and students are doing to help out others during this time of remote living and learning. #salvesgotthis #mercymondays