Thirty students came out to the Arboretum to participate in the first annual freshmen service project on April 8. The event was themed around The Ultimate Knight Program of the Month, “Get Global.” In an attempt to help the students get global, the Office of First Year Experience planned “LINK Serve: Lend a Hand with LINK” offering students the chance to gather up the last of their LINK Loot, participate in community service without having to leave campus, and to learn about the Arboretum’s resources all in in one experience.

Students dressed in shorts, T-shirt and closed-toed shoes started arriving at 10 a.m. Participants had to worked for at least one hour in the garden, filled with various fruits, vegetables and herbs, to receive their 2,000 points of LINK Loot.  Many students were surprised to find that the Arboretum consisted of an actual garden and admitted their lack of knowledge about this part of campus.

By 3 p.m., the event wrapped up. Students had worked throughout the day picking weeds that would be harmful to their crops and planting seeds. The progress that the students made and the impact that they left in the Arboretum was clearly noticeable. The students departed, not only with the knowledge of the garden and a better understanding of what the Arboretum does, but also with a handful of carrots, basil, onions, and other products that they had freshly picked to take home and enjoy.

LINK (Learning and Interacting with New Knights) is an incentive-based program to help First Time in College students get involved on campus. Students obtain Loot by attending LINK events. At the end of this spring semester, students have the opportunity to use their loot at the LINKO, a Bingo-style event.

LINK is a program in the Office of First Year Experience in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.