CyServe provides sense of community

Students register for volunteer opportunities on campus as part of CyServe Day at Iowa State. Volunteers had the chance to assist in cleaning academic buildings such as Carver Hall and the Gerdin Business Building. 

Tanner Judd

CyServe Day allowed students to take a few hours of their time this weekend to give back to their community.

The first February service day put on by the CyServe Council was a success this Saturday. Students participated in events for Colleges Against Cancer, Goodwill, Riverside Enrichment Community and Iowa State.

The Colleges Against Cancer event was organized by Amanda Ehlers, the events co-chair of CyServe Council, as a way to help Relay For Life, which will take place March 7.

“We wanted to throw an event that would help them, and give us some people that we can send them for volunteers. So it ended up being a win-win for both of us,” Ehlers said.

This event resulted in 600 ribbons being made, representing each different type of cancer. Also, students made posters for the Relay For Life event, some of which will be hung up at the event, others will be put up around campus to promote the event.

“It is huge,” Ehlers said. “You feel good seeing all of these people that are helping Colleges Against Cancer and just volunteering in general.”

Ehlers said that the Colleges Against Cancer event was one of the largest of the day, but it was rivaled by the building-cleaning event. Students that volunteered for this event swept floors, vacuumed and wiped down windows and railings in East Hall, Gerdin Business Building and Carver Hall.

“The first shift of building-cleaning we got done early because we had too many volunteers there,” said Mike Stewart, co-director of CyServe Council.

Kevin Merrill, leadership and service coordinator of the Student Activities Center, said the backbone of CyServe Council is students who want to make a difference in their community. One of these students is Tara Naber, a senior in chemical engineering and volunteer at the Colleges Against Cancer event.

Naber said she volunteered because it was a Saturday and it is not hard to volunteer for a few hours.

Another student volunteer at the Colleges Against Cancer event was sophomore in early childhood education, Emma Anderson, who had a very personal connection to this event.

“My father had stage four melanoma and passed away from it when I was a freshman in high school. When I was a junior in high school, I was diagnosed with stage four melanoma so this whole situation is pretty near and dear to my family’s heart,” Anderson said.

Naber said that there is a good sense of fulfillment when you help out other people.

The turnout for CyServe Day didn’t quite reach the 350 volunteer goal set by CyServe Council. Stewart attributed this to the weather and the plethora of other volunteer opportunities during the spring semester, which led to the cancellation of the originally planned food drive.

“We had to cancel a few events so that we could make our Colleges Against Cancer and cleaning events more successful,” Stewart said. 

Despite this cancellation and the circumstances surrounding the events, Stewart said that he was very happy with how the event turned out.

“All of CyServe (Council) put a lot of work into CyServe Day, and I think the best way to put it would be when I walked upstairs and saw Colleges Against Cancer, the Relay For Life event and there’s all these people having a great time … that’s what makes putting these things on worth it,” Stewart said.