Former Community Service Center changes name, mottoBy Emmalee Molay | 08/25/2014 5:50pm
The Career Center is among many resources available to Alabama students. CW | Pete Pajor
One of those resources is the Center for Sustainable Service and Volunteerism, formerly known as the Community Service Center.
The Center for Sustainable Service and Volunteerism, or CSSV, officially changed their name on June 23, but that’s not the only thing that’s new.
Courtney Chapman Thomas, director of the CSSV, said she is passionate about the new image the center is ?trying to convey.
“We’ve been really looking over the past year of refining the theoretical basis of which we lie on, as well as the intrinsic reasons that we believe about service,” Thomas said. “We truly rest on the platform that service ?is transformational.”
Phillip Burns, a graduate assistant for the CSSV, said he completely supports the vision that prompted the new image, though he is relatively new to the center.
“There is more and more research coming out that people are starting to associate community service with punitive damages,” Burns said. “The idea was we wanted to be building a culture with sustainable service.”
“We looked how we could make a more broad statement to the community about what we are trying to do,” Thomas said. “We kept going back to what is now our new motto, ‘Meaningful Service, Measurable Change.’”
Along with changing their name, the CSSV has relocated from the third floor of the Ferguson Center to a new downstairs office next to the University Supply Store.
“One of the reasons we moved here was for something like the multipurpose classroom,” Burns said. “Our hope is that professors can bring classes down here, or that we can team teach, or have sessions for other projects we have going on.”
“I’m really excited to come out with our new space in the Ferguson Center,” Thomas said. “We really plan on being involved in a lot of different opportunities on campus to put us out there, but also let you know that there’s a lot that already goes on on campus.”
Those who work in the center said they are very excited about the projects they are planning for the year, some continuations of old initiatives and some entirely new programs.
Elliot Spillers, a junior majoring in business management and a team leader with the CSSV, leads the Bama Works Community Action team, whose main responsibility is to host three different community service events. These service days will take place on the anniversary of 9/11, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Hands on Tuscaloosa, the group’s largest service day, in ?the spring.
This will be Spillers’ second year leading the team. Last year he and his partners won a service and leadership award for Hands on Tuscaloosa. He said about ten different community service sites come from around the city during the event, and hundreds of students come to participate in a variety of service projects.
“I’m excited to have a bigger impact on campus,” Spillers said. “We are going to try to get the same ?organizations as well as new ones, and one thing we really try to promote with that event is diversity here at UA and bringing students together.”
Spillers said he was looking forward to working with the CSSV for ?another year.
“We just have a great energy here,” Spillers said.
Addie Bunn, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and math, is participating in her fourth year overall and second year as team leader for Beat Auburn Beat Hunger, one of the center’s biggest events.
The food drive will occur this year from Oct. 13 to Nov. 21. Bunn said they collected almost 300,000 pounds of food last year, so their goal this year is to top that number.
“This year one of our goals is to be more prominent [within social media] and have some bigger events,” ?Bunn said.
She said she is excited to be back to getting involved with local businesses and working with other groups, like the local food bank.
“I think the name change is great for the CSSV, it goes along with what we are trying to do with ‘Meaningful Service and Measurable Change,’” Bunn said.
Thomas said she is very pleased with how the year is looking already.
“We have an incredible student staff,” she said. “They are some of the most passionate and gifted and well-rounded students I’ve ever had the privilege to work with and I’m excited about this year and I think we’ll do great things.”