CHEERS to students from area colleges who perform local community service. College students are viewed unfairly by many around here. The stereotype is that they are loud, obnoxious, drunken hoards of vandals who cause problems for local residents. While a minority of students do, unfortunately, fit the bill — and therefore perpetuate the perception — the vast majority of those who attend SUNY Plattsburgh, Paul Smith’s College, Clinton Community College and North Country Community College are serious students in search of a career.
A good share of them are also young people who care about the communities where they make their home during college, even though their hometowns may be many miles away.
Take a look, for example, at what SUNY Plattsburgh students were involved in this past weekend. These examples show both a commitment to philanthropy and also how students contribute to the culture of the community:
▶ The SUNY Plattsburgh Social Work Association and Social Work Honor Society joined with local agency ETC Housing Corp. to hold a Homelessness Awareness Day. They set up a cardboard box city, collected hygiene products — both there and in city neighborhoods beforehand — to be donated to the homeless of Clinton County.
▶ The SUNY Plattsburgh Chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted a pancake breakfast at the Newman Center to benefit Parkinson’s disease research.
▶ Student Maggie Edward organized the Out of Darkness Walk to raise awareness about suicide and money for programs that help prevent people from taking their own lives.
▶ The women’s basketball team hosted a Kids Night Out at Memorial Hall, where parents could bring children ages 5 to 13 for an evening of fun. The players and their coach, Cheryl Cole, hold these fun events on a regular basis.
▶ Club Caribbean hosted its annual pageant, a colorful, fun celebration that reminds us of the diversity infused in this area by the campus.
▶ Students from the college showed their talents with performances by the SUNY Plattsburgh Gospel Choir, the Dance Corps and baritone Todd Lawson and an art exhibit by seniors.
All that was happening in just two days plucked from the college’s school year. And the same kind of events happen at the other regional colleges.
But, here, we pause for a little JEER. Some area colleges do their students a disservice by not informing the media about upcoming events. All it takes is a quick news release sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to spread the word and let us know if there might be something worth covering.
Students are making a positive difference in the North Country, and they deserve our thanks and appreciation — and credit for their efforts.
— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at firstname.lastname@example.org.