While life at Shippensburg University looks quite different during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ship’s pledge to service learning and the community remains strong. In-person or virtually, Ship students are still making a difference.

Each fall, Ship takes a stand against domestic violence with a tulip planting ceremony hosted by the Women’s Center. This year, on October 8, the event took place virtually, but planted personal stories, resources and knowledge in the minds of faculty, staff and students.

“It’s important to recognize those who are touched by domestic violence every year, but particularly this year when people are more isolated and at risk. The Women’s Center is available to any student who may be facing violence or an unhealthy relationship. We are here to support you,” said Arielle Catron, director of the Women’s Center.

The evening featured a video on how COVID-19 has impacted domestic violence and speakers from Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties, the YWCA, Women in Need- Franklin and Fulton County, and Reverend Jan Bye, campus ministry.

In addition to tulip planting,  on October 9, over 100 students volunteered to plant 500 trees at Bird Run and the Campus Farm as part of the 10 Million Tree’s Campaign.  The campaign is a statewide collaborative effort that hopes to improve Pennsylvania’s communities, economy and ecology by planting 10 million trees throughout the Commonwealth.  

 The tree planting was not only a service learning opportunity for students, but a moment to come together and enjoy the campus community while still following masking and social distancing guidelines.

“Now that we’re able to get out and actually make a difference, I feel like that’s very good for our mental health as well as the planet, obviously, and the community,” said freshman English major, Nell Behta.

Students can continue to find service learning opportunities and connect with their Ship community throughout the semester by contacting the Office of Community Engagement or by checking the campus event’s calendar.