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ness affairs for the Student Government Association, live on Fort pleasant Avenue in Springfield. Fortunately, their apart- ment building was spared from the tornado. But as they walked through their neighborhood toward campus the next day, they were shocked. Schupack said, “It looked like people’s spirits had been broken.” upon arriving on campus, they saw hundreds of century-old trees littering the grounds and realized they couldn’t help with cleanup at that point. They then traveled on to Island pond Road, where they saw Springfield College physical therapy students helping a local resident move cut-up trees. “We should be out there like they are,” they agreed.

Also striving to figure out ways students could help was Student Trustee Tyler Hilbert ’12. “Instinctively, I jumped on the Humanics philosophy and the need to reach out to others who needed assistance,” he said. Hilbert met with Vice presi- dent of Student Affairs and Dean of Students David Braverman and told him, “our students are all chomping at the bit to go out into the campus and the community.” once Springfield College personnel and professional

contractors had cleared the damaged trees from the main part of the campus, making it safer for others to move about the area, there was still much more cleanup work to be done. Springfield College president Richard B. Flynn suggested using student and alumni volunteers to tidy the larger green areas that were littered with roof shingles, twigs, and other debris. naismith Green was the first site selected. With the go-ahead to perform work on campus, Schupack

and Burckhard decided to set aside mornings for campus cleanup activities, followed by outreach to the neighborhood children in the afternoon. “It was like a big puzzle with lots of little pieces that we had to bring together,” explained Burck- hard, including coming up with safety and other guidelines for those who would be going out into the communities. Their course of action decided, they needed to get the

word out. So they called upon Justin Felisko ’12, editor-in- chief of the Springfield Student and overseer of the Springfield Student newspaper’s Facebook page, who became the point person for volunteer communications.

TRIANGLE 1 Vol . 83, No. 1

“My first instinct, when I saw the damage on campus from

the tornados, was to go outside and capture pictures to upload and share,” said Felisko. “I used my cell phone and started taking pictures, and continued adding to the newspa- per’s Facebook site.” The popularity of the page exploded. Before the June 1 tornados struck, Felisko had 394 fans who liked it. Following the tornados, that number had risen to more than 1,900. “I realized that the site was serving a greater purpose,”

said Felisko. “It had become more than just a place to upload photos. There were tons of questions from alumni, friends, and others. I started reporting on what was going on, and that’s when Josh contacted me to help unite those who wanted to help.” Thanks to both word-of-mouth and Facebook, “we were

able to gather 20 students by 9:30 a.m. on the morning of June 3,” Elvers said. “We had 10 more volunteers by 10 a.m.” Volunteers who showed up had made a wardrobe decision

on their own, choosing to wear Springfield College Humanics in Action T-shirts. “It’s just second-nature to put on a Human- ics in Action shirt,” Burckhard shrugged. “no one told anyone to do that.”

The students set up a daily schedule that began with making sandwiches in the Senior Suites residence hall. When they first started going out into the community, the students purchased peanut butter, jelly, bread, and water themselves. But once others learned what they were doing, they started receiving donations. In those first days following the tornado, they made and gave out more than 700 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and about 30 to 40 cases of water. ARAMARK also pitched in to help the students’ cause, providing them with free lunch after they had finished their campus cleanup activities and before they went out into the community. once in the neighborhoods, “we served as morale boost-

ers,” said Schupack. “I had thought that we were there for the kids, but then parents were coming up to us and saying, ‘thank you.’ ” It was then he realized that their original purpose also gave parents much-needed time to regroup.

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