100 Freshmen Immerse Themselves in Service, the City
Thursday, August 13, 2009
PHILADELPHIA (August 13, 2009) – The final weeks of the summer see millions of new college freshmen across the country anxiously awaiting their first taste of college life. One hundred students from Saint Joseph's University's incoming class are getting a jump start on their classmates this year by participating in the Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP), a five-day intensive orientation program that exposes them to the City of Brotherly love and the spirit of service that is central to the University's mission. This year's program will be held from Tuesday-Saturday, August 25-29.
After moving to campus earlier than their freshman peers, students will participate in a variety of service activities across the city, including cultivating land in vacant lots for the urban agriculture group Mill Creek Farm and providing food and clothing to homeless visitors at St. Francis Inn in Kensington. After their service activity, students will meet up with an SJU faculty member and be led to a city landmark to learn more about Philadelphia culture, including a Mural Arts Program Walking Tour of Center City and a trip to Old St. Joseph's Church, where the University was founded in 1851.
Now in its third year, the program has seen exponential growth, enrolling twice as many students as it did in 2008. “PSIP creates a community of students, which for an incoming freshman is an excellent introduction not only to college life, but to the principles that are the essence of Saint Joseph’s University," said Nancy Fox, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and one of the program’s founders. The freshmen pay a small amount for meals and transportation, but the program does not turn students away for lack of monetary resources and aims to provide enough faculty members to lead the students to a diverse selection of "Philly destinations."
"PSIP allowed me to meet people who were interested and enthusiastic about the same things that I was," said Alana Glanell, an SJU sophomore who took part in the program last year and is now a student leader. "The upperclassmen also served as awesome contacts for general college questions throughout the year. I'm such a believer in this program; I really think it's the best thing for incoming freshmen."
For more information about the programs, including a list of service sites and Philly destinations, visit http://www.sju.edu/psip.