USG plans fourth annual Pioneer Community Day

Originally published in The Globe January 15, 2014

The United Student Government (USG) is already putting plans in motion for the fourth annual Pioneer Community Day, focusing efforts on the Downtown area.

“It’s our way to give back,” said USG President Pro Tempore Gabriel Dubin on Monday. “Point Park advertises as an urban community, and this is a way for us as a University to give back to our Downtown community and to Pittsburgh.”

Over the past four years, USG has concentrated its community day efforts on the Downtown area.

“For the first one we did a lot of community projects, then we narrowed it and then last year we worked with only one or two actual community projects, “ said USG President Dillon Kunkle in the University Center  on Monday. “They were very downtown Pittsburgh based, kind of in our backyard and very community driven.”

The plans for this year’s Pioneer Community Day are still in the works, but the desire is to keep the contributions Downtown.

“We’re probably going to work primarily with Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership,” Kunkle said. “It does a lot Downtown… like cleaning up and taking care of graffiti.”

Along with its decision to keep their work Downtown, USG made the decision to not pool into national charities.

“We wanted to be more about a feeling of home, feeling of community, feeling like a part of Pittsburgh – we wanted to be ‘Yinzers,’” Kunkle said.

Last year during Pioneer Community Day, students participated on campus through smaller fundraising projects, such as making no-sew throw blankets and hand delivering them to Children’s Hospital. Other events have included dodgeball tournaments and scavenger hunts, where a buy-in fee was collected and the proceeds were donated to various local charities, according to Kunkle.

“It’s kind of a fun thing,” Kunkle said, describing the events as an alternative for students “instead of going and physically doing community service.”

Although USG plans and staffs the projects and events for Pioneer Community Day, it’s designed for the students and University.

“We go out and do service ourselves, but this is entirely about the University,” Kunkle said. “We get everything set up and then we get as many people as we possibly can to sign up with us. It’s not just students – staff and faculty come out, and that’s really great to see.”

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