Raider Relief launches the Abandoned Stuffed Animal Project

Raider Relief launches the Abandoned Stuffed Animal Project

Visit raiderrelief.org today! The Project Welcome to Project ASAP, brought to you by Raider Relief. We’re putting together the biggest stuffed animal drive ever! Help the University of Mount Union and our awesome supporters in the city of Alliance as we donate our gently used stuffed animals to be professionally cleaned (by Cintas) and sent … Read more

Visit raiderrelief.org today!

The Project

Welcome to Project ASAP, brought to you by Raider Relief. We’re putting together the biggest stuffed animal drive ever! Help the University of Mount Union and our awesome supporters in the city of Alliance as we donate our gently used stuffed animals to be professionally cleaned (by Cintas) and sent out to kids who will love them.

When does it start?

We officially begin collecting donations on March 31 and will continue until April 5.

Take the Teddy Pledge!

Click HERE to take the “Teddy Pledge!” Give us your best guess of how many abandoned stuffed animals you’ll collect from home Easter weekend, and we’ll send a text message to remind you before you leave home!

Where to donate?

Feel free to drop off your donations at the University of Mount Union Library (KHIC) or Family Video in Alliance.

What exactly to donate?

Please bring your used, lovable, stuffed animals to donate. We’re looking for the sort of stuffed animal that you used to love playing with, but is ready for another child to love

Want to chat?

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for some Teddy shenanigans! Follow the #ProjectASAP hashtag as well!

Stretch Yourself Through Experiential Learning

Stretch Yourself Through Experiential Learning

My Social Responsibility and Personal Well-Being course has arrived back on campus after a week of service in Santo Domingo, a moving experience to say the least. We worked with West Indies Christian Ministries participating in service for its school and working with kids at the site for the entire week. Some highlights of the … Read more

My Social Responsibility and Personal Well-Being course has arrived back on campus after a week of service in Santo Domingo, a moving experience to say the least. We worked with West Indies Christian Ministries participating in service for its school and working with kids at the site for the entire week. Some highlights of the trip were plastering the side of a Dominican church (after mixing concrete in the street), giving food donations to a community living next to a landfill, playing with children and teaching them team dynamics and making other clothes and equipment donations. This experience made me realize that simple is better, and to try to live a more relaxing or tranquillo lifestyle.

It was also a great time to practice more and more Spanish, and interacting with Dominican children who’s Spanish was probably better than mine. I am certain there were a few times where they were poking fun at me, and I just couldn’t understand them! That being said, some dialect was different, and I now find myself repeating ‘que lo que’ (what’s up) and ‘tranqi’ (short for tranquillo or relaxed) whenever possible in the states. We also rode around the countryside in ‘guagua’s’ or smaller buses, my new favorite Spanish word. There are times when you would see a group of 15 inside a small guagua with two backlights out and a door missing!

The trip promotes a sort of class style that I am very fond of and that our professor believes in too, called experiential-based learning. David Kolb is a doctorate who studies this sort of learning and states that experiential learning is ‘education that occurs as a direct participation in the events of life.’ Here learning is not sponsored by some formal educational institution but by people themselves. It is learning that is achieved through reflection upon everyday experience and is the way that most of us do our learning. This was very effective, as our class reflected on the day behind us, every night.

As I said before, I was moved by the trip, especially after some of that group reflection and response time. Professor Kramer offered a bit of life advice, saying to stretch yourself through experiences whether its socially, culturally, spiritually or intellectually. I felt that this trip did exactly that, improving my view on gratitude, finding meaning in life, stretching me beyond my limits and comfort zone. This trip has definitely made itch and want to travel more! Where to next, any suggestions?

Social Responsibility Trip to the DR!

Social Responsibility Trip to the DR!

This semester I am enrolled in Dr. Kramer’s Social Responsibility and Personal Well-Being course, one that I already highly recommend. We are reading several incredible books, like World on Edge, full of factoids on how to make the world a better place, and also find ourselves within deep conversation on achieving personal growth within our … Read more

This semester I am enrolled in Dr. Kramer’s Social Responsibility and Personal Well-Being course, one that I already highly recommend. We are reading several incredible books, like World on Edge, full of factoids on how to make the world a better place, and also find ourselves within deep conversation on achieving personal growth within our lives. One of the reasons I was drawn to the course in the first place as well was the spring break service trip to a Spanish speaking country.

Originally we planned to go to El Salvador, but due to a travel warning, we weren’t able to go and are now headed to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. In the DR, our class will be working with West Indies Christian Ministries participating in service for its school and working with kids at the site for the entire week. Although we leave on Saturday at 2:15 in the morning to catch an early flight out of Cleveland, I am stoked for the trip.

I have been itching to practice my Spanish more since returning from Spain, and am glad I can be immersed in another spanish speaking culture. I also plan to document the trip through photo and video, potentially making a digital short or documentary if you will. Who knows! I also am excited to pack as little as possible for this trip to really challenge and stretch myself. I am very excited for the trip, and will share many fotos upon our return!

Later, and have fun on your very own spring break trip! Hasta luego, y diviértete en su viaje de vacaciones de primavera!

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

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Halloween brings about the words scary, candy, trick or treating, costumes, ghosts, witches and pumpkins.  However, on Mount Union’s campus Halloween also brings about the words St. Jude, helping others, service, raising money, and giving. This year, the Delta Sigma Tau sorority and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity joined together to spend their Halloween weekend in a much different way than most people do. Instead of dressing up in costumes and spending time with friends, they found a way to make a difference. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega put together a haunted house to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital seeks to advance the treatment and prevention of cancer and catastrophic diseases in children.

The sisters and brothers put weeks of preparation into this event, which was known as “The Haunted House on the Hill.” The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house, which is located on the Mount Union campus next to Bracy Hall and across from the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (the library), was transformed into a haunted house. Friday and most of Saturday, was spent decorating the house, setting up each haunted room and getting all aspects of the haunted house ready for business.

Following the set up, the house appeared as if it was a real haunted house that many people go to each year during the Halloween season. It took about five minutes to go through the whole house and in my opinion was scary! I know I screamed many times when I went through it! The haunted house was open to the community on both Saturday and Sunday night from 6-9 p.m. The admission fee was $3 and there was also a refreshment table featuring assorted cookies, cider and hot chocolate. Donations also were accepted, and over the course of the two nights $579.78 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This truly was a remarkable event that raised a good amount of money for a great cause. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega made a difference during their Halloween weekend!

Meet the Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

Meet the Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

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Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a national co-ed service fraternity. The term fraternity can be a little confusing at first because “fraternity” is associated with only males. This is not only co-ed, so both males and females can join, but it’s a service organization, not a social organization like other fraternities (or sororities for that matter). It is based around three main principles: leadership, friendship and service. This values shine through everything APO does – from countless service projects each week and social activities to members holding leadership positions not only within the organization, but within others as well. There are more than 350 chapters of APO in the United States, 250 chapters in the Philippines and one chapter in Australia … this fraternity is taking the whole world by storm!

Here at Mount, APO is one of the largest organizations on campus with more than 100 members. We have weekly chapter meetings (Tuesday nights at 8:15 in the Mount Union Theatre) as well as weekly executive board meetings (Monday nights at 6:45 in the Hoover-Price Campus Center), but this is not the only time contributed by members of the organization. The meetings themselves usually only last about an hour, and each member must complete 20 hours of service and attend two socials each semester.

Service projects at Mount Union vary greatly. One week you can volunteer at a soup kitchen; play with puppies at the Humane Society; work on your bingo skills at a nursing home; and walk in an awareness walk for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism or one of many other walks in the area. Twenty hours might seem like a lot of work, but when you look at it in terms of what is offered each week, you can potentially get all 20 hours in within a month or two, but members have the whole semester! On top of that, there are different levels of service in APO: national, community, campus and fraternity. National and community are probably what you think of most when you think “service project,” but members of APO receive service hours for other things as well. For example, writing an article for the Ant Hill, which is our monthly newsletter, counts as one half hour of service to the fraternity.

Don’t think that APO is all work and no play, though! We have a social chair who puts together at least one to two socials every week. The socials are ALWAYS fun and vary greatly, so if you aren’t interested in attending one, you’ll be sure to find one that meets your interests. We often go see movies at the movie theatre near campus, go out to eat at Applebees and take trips to seasonal attractions such as a hay ride in the fall or Christmas light viewing in the winter. We usually have one or two larger socials every semester as well. Last semester we drove three hours to go to Kalahari in Sandusky for a whole day! We got a group discounted price and got to live it up in the balmy 75 degree waterpark for a day when it was the dead of winter outside.

Another aspect of APO is conferences. Since it is a national (international!) organization, there are events that bring chapters together to interact with one another. Every year there is a sectional conference that is fairly small (about eight or nine chapters are in each section). Every other year there is a regional conference, which is a bit larger, and consists of about five sections. The year’s that are opposite of regional conferences, there are national conferences. National conferences encompass every single chapter in the United States and usually a few chapters from the Philippines.

Last year, Mount Union hosted the section conference for our section! It involved more than 200 brothers from around Northeast Ohio coming to campus to participate in workshops, social events and service projects. We did a lot of work to entice other chapters to attend our conference that we knew was going to be the bomb.com; the picture shown is one of our tactics! It was so stressful to plan, but the rewards definitely outweighed costs! Coming up in a few weeks, APO will be traveling to Louisville, Kentucky for a regional conference. We have a whopping 30 brothers attending and we will be down at the University of Kentucky for a weekend to serve and socialize with brothers from our region. In December of 2012, the national conference is being held in Anaheim, California! This is a LONG trek for brothers from our chapter and will require a lot of fundraising on our part to be able to attend, but it is sure that at least a fairly sizable handful of brothers will be in attendance in sunny California!

There is SO much more I could tell you about APO because it is such a large organization with such intricate parts, but for now, I’ll leave it at that. If you’d like to find out more, come to one of our chapter meetings! We always welcome visitors and we have pledge classes go through every semester, so there’s always going to be an opportunity to take part in this great organization!

New Kid on the Block

New Kid on the Block

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Hello! My name is Kaitlin Jeffreys and I’d like to introduce myself so you can get to know who’s helping you get to know the world of Mount Union! Before we get to where I am now, let’s start with from where I’m from.

I’m from Amherst, a pretty small city (about half the size of Alliance) just west of Cleveland. I’ve lived there my entire life and if you ask my mom, she’ll tell you that I’ll live there the rest of my life (which may or may not be true). It’s as close to Utopia as I’ve ever found. My family is a major part of my life. My brother is in the Air Force, so it’s just my mom, dad and me, and it has been that way for quite a few years now. In high school … well, all throughout my life for that matter, I was a swimmer. I lived, breathed, ate and drank swimming. If you had told me that I would go to college and NOT continue to swim, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.

I came to Mount Union on a rainy fall day during my junior year because I was looking at the swim team. Instead of falling for swimming, as I had planned, I fell for the beauty of this campus. The way it made me feel was like I’d lived here for years, but it was the first time I had set foot on the campus. I was weak in the knees for Chapman Hall. I was left fluttering over the quad and my heart beat faster when I first glanced at the Campus Lakes. Since then, my relationship with the campus has only grown.

Now, a little bit about myself and my life at this beautiful place… I’m a psychology major and have minors in intervention specialist (which I know, doesn’t sound like proper English, but it is) and sociology. I actually just switched most of that around last year as I previously was majoring in intervention specialist (special education) and had just one minor in psychology. I realized having a psychology degree would open up more doors into the field I actually want to pursue. Off of that, you should know that I have a deep passion for working with individuals with autism. I had an internship at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism the summer after my freshman year and my interest has continued to grow. I’ll talk more about that in a future blog, so stay tuned.

I’m also involved in a few organizations on campus. Alpha Phi Omega (which we call APO) was my first love when I came here. APO is a co-ed service fraternity that offers wonderful opportunities to serve the campus, community and even wider areas. I’m also a member of Delta Sigma Tau, one of the sororities on campus, and have found yet another family. The final major thing I do, aside from going to class of course, is help with planning Relay for Life on campus. I served on the planning committee as the team development co-chair. I’m sure there will be a blog in the future about this too!

I think that’s it for me. I hope that you will come back and read again in the future and get to know me better. I’ll be writing about a wide range of things that hopefully you will find interesting!