Service day canceled after surprise winter storm

Each year, Tarleton State University students and staff gather together to be the change they hope to see. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the surprise winter storm led to the cancellation of one of the most anticipated spring events held at Tarleton State University.
Service day is essentially a day of giving. Typically, faculty and staff plan service opportunities within and across colleges in an attempt to involve students in meeting the needs of the community. Students historically have signed up for service day projects led by faculty and staff.
“Service is one of our institution’s core values; and Service Day is typically part of a larger Service Week at Tarleton State University. In the past, the week has been anchored by Tarleton’s Roundup and has included Service Day and other service related activities. Service Day allowed faculty to organize service and service learning projects for our students taking classes on Thursdays to serve the surrounding communities,” Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Administration, Dr. Jordan Barkley said.
In 2019, over 200 staff and students gathered at Jaycee Park to “Shade Out MD” as a part of the Service Day activities. However, this year, Texas had different plans.
“This year’s Service Day was cancelled to allow faculty and students to reclaim instructional time lost due to the severe weather event in February. Social Distancing and other COVID-19 related mitigation strategies had already made creating service opportunities more difficult this year than in the past; as such, canceling the planned day of service and giving the day back as instructional time to both faculty and students seemed the prudent thing to do. This year’s event will not be rescheduled for later in the academic year. We will see Service Day return next academic year,” Dr. Barkley said.
The cancellation of Service Day affected both students and staff but it also presented itself as a day of productivity and positivity.
Service Day is one of Tarleton’s many long standing traditions that staff and students prepare tirelessly for each year. This year, although was different, the impact Service Day has on the student body is still great despite the cancellation.
With President, Dr. James Hurley’s announcement for a normal fall we can hope that service day will return next spring.