Relevant Links, Spring 2014

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Twitter: @AjiaAllen









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Arts and crafts decrease mental health issues in children

Social work students are familiar with a macro project usually assigned in upper-level
courses at Salisbury University.

Graduate social work students Cherita Richards, Courtney Orebaugh and Queeneth Ordu launched a campaign aimed at directly impacting mental health agencies in the Eastern Shore region to first satisfy the requirement. The campaign titled “Arts and Crafts 4 Eastern Shore Kids” started April 7 and will end April 28, now
making a difference larger than originally planned.

Richards looked to accomplish more through the campaign than simply receiving an assigned grade for the group project. Eastern Shore mental health agencies do not maintain adequate resources to provide complete and necessary care, she said.

“We understand the struggles many nonprofit mental health agencies experience in providing effective services to their clients,” Richards said. “We wanted to do a project that would have an immediate and long term positive

The campaign requests donations of school supplies that may be used by children ages five to 17. Coloring books, safety scissors, markers, crayons and Playdough are included in the supplies requested.

All donations are accepted on SU’s campus in the Social Work Department.

Children may be overlooked sometimes when in reference to mental health agencies and their participants. “Arts and Crafts 4 Eastern Shore Kids” will benefit a particular agency that accepts children battling mental health issues in the Shore region.

For the purposes of discretion and patient confidentiality, the campaign creators have
decidedly kept the agency anonymous.

SU courses are known for engaging students in service projects. A student believes that
these assignments are good for advancing the community and the self.

Amina Aden is a communication arts student who is actively involved in advancing community
welfare. Aden has initiated her own projects through class assignments, membership in Phi Mu and heading the board of the newest service organization, JaySea Gulls.

She thinks the luxuries that people have decreases their willingness to help sometimes.

“These service projects are a great way to give back to the community that’s welcoming us,” Aden said. “Sometimes we take for granted where we come from and we really should do the best we can to help others.”

Richards and her group mates are still accepting donations. For further information, contact Richards or Ordu via email at cr66983@gulls.salisbury.eduand  

Do it for the Vine

The new wave of social media use and technological advancement related to the computer just help produce a great fundraising idea.

Service projects need one main thing to begin and to end strong (among other things of course) and that one thing is money. Projects require a great amount of financial support in order to gain the available resources necessary for getting the work done. Service has needs to, who would have guessed?

There are a variety of ways to gain funding for service projects, some of which include gaining corporate sponsors, putting on fundraising events, and collecting monetary donations from stakeholders or the average citizen. The key to initiating fundraising events is to make them interesting and appealing enough to potential participants, while attracting their willingness to give up the dough.

One has to take into account the concerns and things that the audience being solicited like to do or are often exposed to. In the case of college students or young adults, there is an apparent and consistent preoccupation with technology. For specifics, smart phones and the associated applications are the real fascinations, so much so that individuals of this age group feel inadequate without their phones.

Well, here is where servicing has found its gateway to a cool fundraising idea:

Have a competition of who can produce the best 6 second Vine video based on a theme. Set the appropriate standards and rules and apply an entry fee as well as a reward. The Vine videos can be used as a threaded story at the conclusion of the competition (when real planning for the service project has to start).

Just that easy, a new idea has sprouted from the withering tree of dying and overused fundraisers. Perhaps technology and the growing dependence on smart phones is not completely useless.

Service beats creative difference

Group projects are a way of life. Accept it. There is no getting around that in some way shape or form, one will eventually be a part of a group. One will have to work hard in that group, strive for that group, and either contribute to or be the dismembering factor of the group. The former option dictates a progressive project as a result that generally everyone had positive intent towards. The latter, of course, does not lead to anything beneficial. It in fact lends to having to start from the very beginning of the planning process for the project, which is stressful in itself so starting from the beginning wouldn’t be any fun either.

The point of the matter is to make your experiences in group work motivating, beneficial and worth the time. Regardless of whether or not one identifies the self as an introvert, an extrovert or any of that nonsense, there are ways to find peace in group work.


The first step is admitting that one cannot do everything individually and have the results be up-to-par. Our society is not designed that way. There is a reason why we attend years of school and obtain degrees in different fields. It is because there will be group work in the future that will require significant expertise from someone that can give all of their attention to that which they are an expert on, while another may do the same for their related topic in relation to the same project. We are basically molded to learn how to work in groups purposely.


Next, one must allow another to be the leader. As talented and excellent one might be at producing, it is alright to let someone else be the leader at some point in time. In fact, it may be necessary sometimes. It can be very frustrating to always have to be the point of reason and decision-making. It is a relief to allow someone else, that is capable, to work for the good of the entire group as well. It is also rewarding to see how one can follow instead of lead and be a support to the leader and the rest of the group.


When it comes to working with other people, it typically is the case that one will have to work with someone for the same end, who is unfamiliar. That means a host of different personalities will be entering the group work setting. Do not allow this to give minimum effort or no effort at all toward the group when those personalities seem to turn out for the worse. There are ways to make each and every opinion and thought process work for the greater aim. It does take effort, time, patience, and consistency. There has yet to be a group working together that hasn’t had their differences. The goal is to get to the final result, worry about sociability later.

Group work is key to service. The point of service is obviously to better the welfare of another besides the self anyway and the best way to do that constructively is to understand how to work with other people.

SToP Evaluation

As the Steps Toward Progress Campaign comes to a close, it is paramount that the campaign team reflects on what could have been done better or differently. The campaign was guided by the use of social media as reference for promotion and for gaining feedback. Overall, the campaign went well and accomplished set goals, but did lack in some areas of focus.

Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, Pinterest, Instagram and a variety of other social online forums were used for means of promotion of specific events and to increase the awareness of the campaign.

Facebook gained a significant following on both pages. The business page could have however increased to a certain number of “likes” however the length of time given to conduct the entire campaign was not very long. Therefore, the amount of attention given to the both pages is fairly significant. FB was key in finding volunteers for our events. The only reason Alpha Phi Omega volunteered to be key participants in Steps Toward Progress is because they were notified of the events via this social media site.

Twitter and Tumblr lacked in gaining a following though there was significant support gained on Twitter from international organizations with similar goals toward ending homelessness. This was very significant because it means that the campaign in Salisbury, MD is now known throughout another country.

In future campaigns, there needs to be a set time frame and consistency applied to the posts on each site applicable. Relevance to audience was good for this campaign but could have been increased through interactive posts geared specifically for the audiences involved.

The use of social media had such drastic impact on achieving goals relevant to the campaign and the end result helped increase awareness about the issue of homelessness in the Wicomico County area. We directly impacted the homeless population through the donation drive.

Deltas are coming, the Deltas are coming

They’re here!

Salisbury University made history this weekend as the Divine Nine presence expanded on the campus. A second historically African American sorority rejoined the other five Greek life organizations after being suspended from the campus in 2004. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was chartered as Nu Rho chapter at Salisbury State College in 1977 and was reactivated as the new line on April 19 of the current year. A celebratory “coming-out” event was held known as a probate in the Maggs Physical Activity Center, open to the public. The new line of young women counted out to 25 neophytes all draped in crimson and crème (the sorority’s official colors).

Divine Nine refers to the nine Greek organizations included in the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Each organization has included mostly African American members. The Greek life groups within the NPHC have missions and programs established dedicated to the greater good of the community. Community service is rendered in various fashions. The focus of each organization is different while the goal is the same: creating a means for bettering the welfare of society.

It is a big deal to the African American community to become a part of these Greek organizations because many of them have had great influence on political matters affecting the protection of civil rights for blacks in this country. NPHC groups have stood the tests of very tumultuous times in American history including the civil rights movement and other major eras. The other NPHC organizations that are active on Salisbury University’s campus include Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc., Omega Psi Phi, Inc., and Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. Now Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will be added to the mix making it six NPHC organizations at SU with plans to gain the presence of all nine. History is definitely in the making.