TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- In observance of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, many Americans took part in the nationwide National Day of Service and Remembrance.
At Northeastern State University, about 330 students volunteered for Day of Service projects on campus and around the city of Tahlequah.
"Many of the tasks focused on our university community," said Dr. Laura Boren, vice president for student affairs. "Students went to work cleaning flower beds and shrubs. But other students did go out into the community – we partner with the City of Tahlequah. Almost all of the projects involved environmental improvements."
Each year the 9/11 Day of Service projects are coordinated by the NSU Division of Student Affairs and the Northeastern Student Government Association. Though student organized, faculty and staff also participated.
Before departing, volunteers met in the University Center Sen. Herb Rozell Ballroom in Tahlequah. They were addressed by Boren before leaving to work their assigned projects.
Chuck Philpy, an East, Colo., senior majoring in cellular biology, serves as secretary of volunteer services for the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA) and coordinated the event.
"I am really happy with the number of people who turned out," he said. "A lot of students have classes on Tuesdays, so many are making time in their schedules to take part in this. I am happy to be able to help serve this community and NSU. I love this school and am a RiverHawk forever.
Thomas Teague, a Clayton senior majoring in political science, is NSGA president. He said his first task to aid organization of the 9/11 Day of Service was "to get
"We helped him with whatever he needed in planning, and to help coordinate services on campus through such people as Todd Enlow (interim director of auxiliary services) and Sarah Johnson (coordinator of campus activities)," Teague said.
Some of the teen-agers among the NSU student body may be too young to fully recall the events of 11 years ago, yet were shaped by them and made sacrifices. Teague said it is important for his generation to turn 9/11 into something positive for themselves.
"I recall an interview I heard recently about artists coming of age in the post-9/11 world and being uncomfortable with that label," he said. "But the fact is 9/11 and the events that followed are like the air we breath. It has changed our country so much and shaped this generation in ways we can't yet assess. It is important that we build the community and redefine 9/11 for ourselves as an opportunity, not just a massive tragedy."
For more information about NSU's participation in the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, call the Division of Student Affairs at (918) 444-2120 or the NSGA in the Office of Student Activities at (918) 444-2526.
Published: 9/17/2012 12:52:46 PM