To highlight and honor its mission to service and justice, Spring Hill College (SHC) sponsored a Justice and Service Week in November for SHC students.
Various groups and organizations from around campus coordinated multiple events, including a Mass in remembrance of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, a Rosary for Life prayer service, a solidarity walk, a post-graduate service and non-profit career fair, and the “Walk in Their Shoes” simulation event highlighting common experiences for refugees. Students also had the opportunity to learn about fair trade coffee, which was donated by Carpe Diem Coffee and Tea Company, and those students interested in serving as Jesuit Volunteers were able to meet with individuals already in similar roles in the Mobile community.
Community service was also incorporated into the week’s offerings. Seventy-five “Giving Bags” that included essential personal items were assembled and donated to the Waterfront Rescue Mission and 18 students attended a Habitat for Humanity build.
“We highlight student organizations, projects and issues that have a particular justice or service focus. The activities that happen here at Spring Hill actually continue well beyond the one week,” said Colleen Lee, campus minister for service and retreats with the college’s Campus Ministry group. “What we hope is that by participating in an activity, or even just seeing something happening on campus, students will renew their passion for service or justice for an issue they care deeply about.”
With the help of Campus Ministry, student groups and organizations planned and implemented the week’s events. Students for Life, the Jesuit Refugee Service Action Team, five Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) delegation members, and Jess Richmeyer ’17, the Campus Ministry justice intern, were integral to this year’s events. The event is held after the IFTJ in Washington D.C. and has been an annual event for the past three years on the SHC campus.
“Justice and Service Week is important at SHC because it allows for the Spring Hill community to come together in solidarity with those who simply need a hand-up,” Richmeyer said. “This week also teaches us the importance of working toward what is right, not necessarily what is easy.”