Community engagement is one of the cornerstones of the Law, Societies, and Justice Program. This past year, the LSJ Alumni committee organized two volunteer events, the One Night Count and the LSJ Day of Service, where LSJ Alumni and students joined together to volunteer.
In order to build public engagement and action around the topic of homelessness in King County, six LSJ students and three alumni volunteered at the One Night Count during the early morning hours of January 27.
Martina Kartman, who graduated in 2009 and helped to coordinate the event, said it was important for LSJ to participate in the One Night Count because it was a community event.
“I really do think that the core of LSJ goes beyond learning the academic and theoretical portion and really hopes to incite community action,” Kartman said. “There are 800 to 1000 volunteers doing the same thing so it’s important to be part of that and in solidarity with that effort.”
Munish Bharti, an LSJ senior said that he really enjoyed that both alumni and undergraduates were on the same team.
“Whenever you have a group of individuals willing to work together towards a common cause, amazing things happen,” Bharti said. “It didn’t matter whether you were an undergrad or an alum. What mattered was that we all were there.”
During LSJ’s day of service on Feb. 25, 12 LSJ undergraduates and 12 alumni volunteered with Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC) of Seattle, which serves homeless adults in the Pacific Northwest.
LSJ students and alumni interacted with residents by baking cookies and playing bingo. They also helped to clean a storage room to help create space for an In Kind Donations collection center, where people can drop off clothing and belongings.
“There was a range of people who participated, from students just admitted to the major to one of the first alums from Society and Justice,” said LSJ Director Steve Herbert. “This was a great opportunity for current students and local alumni to spend time together, and to provide an important service to a worthy organization.”
Chelsea Toby, who graduated in 2006, said it was great seeing the alumni and students volunteering together.
“The [Day of Service] represented what the LSJ program is all about: people with diverse backgrounds and interests coming together and working toward a common goal of improving our community,” Toby said.
This article was composed by Charlotte Anthony.