One day each Spring, students, faculty and staff put away the books and laptops to give back to the community. Classes are cancelled, and everyone pitches in to help “buenafy” campus and the surrounding town.
Buenafication Day was born in 1913 as "Hobo Days." It started as a relaxed, unstructured day of games and activities, but over time, it became a day of civic responsibility. Buenafication Day became an annual occurrence in 1980, and typically draws around 700 participants. Even Buford T. Beaver gets in on the action. The day’s itinerary has changed a little over the years, but the ultimate purpose has remained the same – improving the world around us.
Student committees lead the day’s events, which begin bright and early. Some resident advisors may still rouse the troops by banging pots and pans throughout the hallways. Everyone makes their way to the football stadium for morning announcements and t-shirt sales. Then, they scatter to participate in a “buenafication” project, such as planting flowers; painting fences or benches; cleaning up Scout Park; safeguarding at Gingerbread House; spending time with clients at Faith, Hope and Charity or washing and walking dogs at TLC Animal Center. After a morning of work in the community, students return for a picnic lunch on the lawn to fuel up for the afternoon. Following a bit of housekeeping in the residence halls, finally, it’s time for some fun. Past Buenafication Day games have included a kickball tournament, BINGO and rock wall climbing.
Bonnie Keller, a senior biology major from Sioux City, was selected by Campus Compact as one of seven Iowa college students to receive the national Newman Civic Fellows Award. Read more...