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Students, city residents complete service project

Zoe Covey
Contributing Writer

On Saturday, Feb. 24, students and Wooster residents participated in a joint service project to benefit refugees at Wooster Mennonite Church.

The project was the second event in the Bridging Along Beall Avenue program, which seeks to improve the relationship between students and members of the Wooster community. Participants applied to take part in the program last semester. The first event, a conversation between students and residents, occurred in mid-January.

Rohini Singh, an assistant professor in the communication studies department, said that she felt the service aspect of the program was one of its most important elements.

“I think that finding common ground is one of the most powerful ways to have people set aside their differences, even if for a moment, and see what they can achieve when they work together,” said Singh.

Because the recipients of the service project were refugees outside of the Wooster community, Singh added that she felt it was a great opportunity for people of different viewpoints to come together to help.

“Participants were not bagging hygiene kits for a [College] or Wayne County program per se; rather, they were coming together to help a completely different set of people,” Singh said. “ [I] was [glad] to see students with differing viewpoints on issues like race and politics working productively together on a project.”

The next meeting for Bridging Along Beall Avenue will take place next month and will be a shared meal. Singh said that she felt the positives of the service project would carry over into the next conversation.

“I do think that, having spent more time together, the participants will be more comfortable with each other and thus more willing to engage in deeper conversations about the perceived divide between the town and campus, and what meaningful steps we can take to address that divide,” Singh said.

According to Singh, the Bridging Across Beall program will conclude with a fourth event, a shared meal and conversation, in early April.

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