Homecoming unites campus to community causes


Photo by Laura Lango

Hannah Gunderson, an EWU sophomore and member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, volunteers at the “Rake a Difference” event on Oct. 28.

By Nathan Peters, Managing Editor

Community service is a part of the annual events of Eastern’s Homecoming Week. Rake a Difference was this year’s Eagle Spirit Week community engagement project, which was held on Oct. 28.

The event was this year’s community caring team challenge, co-sponsored by Cheney Parks and Rec. and Cheney Kiwanis. Clubs and organizations on campus formed teams to volunteer at the event. The teams were assigned to eight locations to rake leaves in residents’ yards; volunteers then disposed of the leaves at the Cheney Recycling Center.

SAIL Associate Director Samantha Armstrong said Eagle Spirit Week is about students taking pride in their institution and community. She said it is a week to reflect on what it means to be an Eagle. The event is about “showing we care about the community,” said Armstrong.

One volunteer location had two teams that joined forces: Gamma Phi Beta sorority and Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Hector Zavala, an EWU Freshman and member of Beta Theta Pi, volunteers at the "Rake a Difference event on Oct. 28
Photo by Laura Lango
Hector Zavala (right), an EWU Freshman and member of Beta Theta Pi, volunteers at the “Rake a Difference event on Oct. 28

Sophomore and Gamma Phi Beta member Hannah Gunderson said, “It’s a good opportunity for us to come together as a Greek community and give back to the [Cheney] community.”

Gamma Phi Beta freshman Mika Norrish said she thinks volunteering for community service makes people feel good to help other people out.

“It’s a community project to help out in the community and put a name out there for ourselves,” said Laj Tripp, Beta Theta Pi freshman.

Armstrong said Cheney Kiwanis donated a majority of the rakes, the Office of Community Engagement provided gloves and SAIL purchased the garbage bags. Marci Lachapelle, Gamma Phi Beta sophomore and one of the event leads said she thought the event was well organized.

The teams ran out of garbage bags and rakes at one location, preventing people from participating. Lachapelle said, “I think they were expecting a lot less of a turnout.”

“It would have been easy to cancel with the weather, but staff and students came out anyway,” said Armstrong.