SHU fights hunger with ice cream

Ice cream and social justice might not seem like similar topics, but one group of Seton Hill University (SHU) students decided to put them together to raise money for a good cause.

Senior Anna Reitsma sits outside Lowe Dining Hall to see tickets for the ice cream social. Photo courtesy of Paige Parise

Senior Anna Reitsma sits outside Lowe Dining Hall to see tickets for the ice cream social. Photo courtesy of Paige Parise

The group of 12 students hosted an ice cream social, “A Night of Hunger,” on April 13 in the Greensburg Room. This was part of their Senior Integrative Seminar course with Laura Patterson, professor of English at SHU. All proceeds are going to the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

“We started working on it at the beginning of the semester,” said senior English-literature major Julie Devine. “We tried to combine our ideas of recycling and food banks, which grew into a plan for an ice cream social to educate the students of Seton Hill about hunger awareness in the Greensburg area.”

Laura Patterson's honors senior seminar class created flyers in order to spread the word about the ice cream social. Photo courtesy of Paige Parise

Laura Patterson’s honors senior seminar class created flyers in order to spread the word about the ice cream social. Photo courtesy of Paige Parise

The event began with games related to the theme of hunger awareness, followed by a presentation by Patterson’s class on statistics of hunger in the area.

Before the event, Devine said, “We are going to present the ice cream in the manner of the statistics, so the population with enough food, which is a certain percent in our community, will get a full sundae. One group will get ice cream with only sprinkles to represent those who get some assistance with food, and plain ice cream will represent those who struggle to have enough food.”

Students in Patterson's class created a poster to hang behind their table as they sold tickets. Photo courtesy of Paige Parise

Students in Patterson’s class created a poster to hang behind their table as they sold tickets. Photo courtesy of Paige Parise

Devine said she was most excited to see how people would react to this procedure of passing out ice cream, which remained a secret until that night.

“The ice cream social is working as a twist in educating the people on campus on hunger within our community, as well as physically representing what hunger in our area looks like,” Devine said.

She added the group is also volunteering at Otterbein Methodist Church, and hopes to “inspire others to serve at Otterbein.”

“Social action is so important in order to make a positive change in your community,” Devine said. “I think we are all really happy with the change we’re trying to make with a lasting impact on those we inspire, as well as those we serve.”

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