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Student Commissioners become Student Painters on MLK Day

Martin Luther King Day 2014 activities on the K campus featured a heartfelt Community Reflections presentation by K students in Stetson Chapel; a rousing convocation talk, also in Stetson, by guest speaker and K board of trustee member Jevon Caldwell Gross ’04, pastor of Hamilton Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlantic City, New Jersey; a commemorative walk by students, faculty, and staff from K and WMU; and an inspiring lecture by American Indian activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer Winona LaDuke in Dalton Theatre.

Meanwhile, out of the public eye, 17 K Student Commission members volunteered five hours each (a total of 85 hours) during the annual MLK National Day of Service. They painted two commercial buildings owned by the Kalamazoo County Land Bank on Portage Street in Kalamazoo’s Edison Neighborhood.

According to StuCom President Darrin Camilleri ’14, the buildings were foreclosed properties that needed a cleanup so that a redevelopment process could begin on part of an important corridor that leads to the heart of downtown Kalamazoo.

“Our work as student commissioners is generally focused on the campus, but we wanted to take our service to the larger community,” said Darrin. “By giving back, we were able to honor Dr. King’s memory, make a connection to an organization in town, and do some good for a neighborhood in Kalamazoo.”

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