One of the perks of college is the connections you make. I do not remember much about freshman orientation, but I know I had a great time meeting new people and making new friends. This academic year, UMass Dartmouth has not only introduced first-year students to other students, faculty, and staff, but to the SouthCoast community as a whole as well.

Photo contributed by UMass Dartmouth

Corsair Engage is a pilot program between the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement and First-Year Orientation. According to Ryan Merrill, Acting Director of Media Relations at UMass Dartmouth, more than 1,000 first-year students civically engaged in one of 33 events spread throughout the day on Sunday, August 29. That equates to over 2,000 hours of service valued at approximately $60,000 by the Massachusetts independent sector.

The partnerships included:

  1. Active Minds
  2. Arnie’s Cupboard
  3. Battleship Cove
  4. Be the Solution to Pollution
  5. Big Brothers Big Sisters
  6. Buttonwood Park Zoo
  7. Gifts to give
  8. Habitat for Humanity
  9. Jumpstart
  10. Labor Education Center
  11. Masspirg Students
  12. NAACP
  13. New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park
  14. Operation Clean Sweep
  15. Sharing the Harvest Community Farm
  16. UMassD Sustainability
  17. Viva Fall River

Merrill states that those who participated in the pilot program have made wonderful impacts including training 107 new activists, assembling 90 literacy kits, and creating 210 wellness cards for 7th graders. In addition, 4,000 pounds of food donations were organized and shelved, 500 pounds of vegetables were harvested for those in need, 15 bags of microplastics were collected from Palmer's Island, and more than 110 pounds of trash was removed from the coast.

Photo contributed by UMass Dartmouth

The student feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

One student said that the opportunity was very impactful and that they are glad they took part. Another said, "It was really great for us freshmen to come together and do something super supportive for our community." A third said, that they learned a lot and had a great time. The final student who provided final thoughts said, "It was such a cool experience and a very unique thing to do at orientation. I loved it!"

Dartmouth ALDI Opening Means I Can Share My Favorite Hacks

The newest ALDI location in Dartmouth opens September 23, but for shoppers who have never stepped foot in this rapidly-growing supermarket chain, there are more than a few things to know before going. You'll want to bring a few things and keep your mind open, but you might just find yourself smiling pretty big when you see your receipt. Cue up the ALDI hacks!