Students to reach out to community on Gandhi Day of Service

Approximately 1,300 students are expected to follow in the footsteps of one of India’s most commemorated political leaders for Gandhi Day of Service on Oct. 6.

The annual event, which takes place near the date of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, is a day devoted to community service projects throughout Miami-Dade County, in honor of his values.

This year, the Gandhi Day executive board is placing a special emphasis on students signing up through campus organizations as a way of increasing retention.

“Student groups help with accountability,” said Shreya Agrawal, co-chair of the event. “They are a reliable way of helping to remind everyone of important dates and times.”

Jinky Amin, also co-chair of Gandhi Day of Service, added that because different student groups are paired with each other, participation through student organizations adds a positive social aspect to the volunteer experience.

“This not only allows kids to get closer to each other, but it also gives them a chance to meet new people,” said Amin.

About 30 organizations from the University of Miami, such as Salsa Craze and Beta Theta Pi, are expected to team up with students from Florida International University, Miami Dade College and Nova Southeastern University, to volunteer at over 40 different locations.

Activities, led by 62 pre-selected student site leaders, will range from beach clean up and landscaping efforts at the Miami River Commission to visiting local children affected by cerebral palsy.

However, students can still sign up to participate individually. Interested students should submit their name, e-mail address, phone number and t-shirt size to

Although the preferred sign-up deadline was Sept. 28, students and campus organizations can still serve as “walk-ons” and register from 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturday to be a part of the day’s events.

Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. at the UC Rock, where Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick and Pat Whitely, vice president of Student Affairs, will address students before their departure. A cultural showcase, featuring student performances and speakers, will also be held at 2:30 p.m. at the UC Patio to celebrate UM’s contributions to the community.

Joanna Suarez may be contacted at

Need to know

 The event will take place Oct. 6

 Though the preferred signup date has passed, students may still register as walk-ons from 8 to 9 a.m. the day of.