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TC Students Volunteer with Columbia Community Outreach

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TC and Columbia clean up at Fort Tryon Park on Community Outreach Day.

TC and Columbia clean up at Fort Tryon Park on Community Outreach Day.

On Saturday, April 5, TC students joined the rest of the Columbia University community including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff for Columbia Community Outreach Day.

Founded in 1997 by Columbia College students, Columbia Community Outreach (CCO) is a student-led initiative that seeks to unite the entire Columbia University community and raise awareness for volunteerism. For the first time this year, TC students participated with nearly 1,000 volunteers in one-day projects ranging from working with senior citizens to cleaning up city parks. The TC Student Senate and the TC Committee on Community and Diversity co-sponsored the event with CCO.

Six members of the TC group braved the wind, rain, and 35-degree weather to work with Columbia College undergraduates on a beautification project at Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights. After donning their CCO T-shirts and eating their breakfast at Low Plaza, the volunteers were greeted by Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University. Then, they listened to prominent political figures such as Representatives Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

After the opening ceremonies, they were off to their projects. The TC group took the subway to Fort Tryon to help park staff put up new fencing, rake leaves, and clear away overgrown brush to help the tulips bloom.

"The cold weather was a bit intimidating at first, but the reward came from working with your hands to help maintain the beauty of our city parks and spending a day bonding with fellow TC and Columbia students whom you would not otherwise have had the chance to meet," said one of the TC volunteers, Kathy Cuevas. "I'm glad I got the chance to contribute to this community-building day. I am even considering coming back to Fort Tryon Park to volunteer again, but when the weather gets warmer!"

For more information about CCO, please go to www.columbia.edu/cu/outreach.

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