Students battle off-campus hunger, homelessness

University of Detroit Mercy students and faculty are known for their community service and helping to feed the hungry and homeless.

“What inspired me to do what I do was the mission of the University of Detroit Mercy,” said Fr. Tim Hipskind, director of Leadership and Service. “I love that a university dedicates itself to serving our community. They recognized that the students could make a difference in the world. There are a number of student who come to the university already having a desire to do service.”

Hipskind also works with the Service Learning program with a focus on helping faculty integrate service into the classroom.

UDM students, staff and faculty give service in many ways through various campus organizations.

One is Student Life, which assists and collaborates with students organizations.

Some organizations under its umbrella include the Student Government Association, Student Activities, Greek Life and the Muslim Students Organization.

Drew Peters is assistant director of Student Life.

 “My hope is that it’s a transformative experience so that students outside of school and outside of their classes are also enhanced by what they’re doing in their experiences,” Peters said. “That is a big part of the educational process. That was a big part for me in my experience and why I want to be a part of it here.”

During the Thanksgiving holiday the campus was all abuzz with many events and activities.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week saw campus organizations volunteer to raise monies and awareness.

Students and other volunteers slept outside in boxes overnight for Phi Beta Sigma’s annual project.

The Muslim Students Organization sponsored a work relief dinner that in addition to raising money served to sponsor an orphan who had also experienced hunger and homelessness.

The dodge ball tournament collected canned goods and funds. The abundance of contributions was given to the Campus Kitchen project.

Campus Kitchen feeds the hungry and homeless in the community and in Detroit.

On Thanksgiving Day, the organization gave out turkey baskets to the homeless in the surrounding communities.