Fall 2015: Semester in Review

12237157_157208201300974_353143201_nIt’s the last week of classes, and the countdown to the end of finals has reached the single digits! We would like to thank you all for a great semester full of great discussion, meaningful service, and too many highlights to count. We thank you for all of your time and effort, and know that others do too!

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Event Highlights

Let’s Talk Politics
Every week this semester, CCAR hosted an informal discussion based on current issues in the world. Topics ranged from Presidential debates to terrorist attacks to human rights, and the videos chosen for each topic also came from an array of media outlets. Several of the meetings were planned by student attendees, and we are looking forward to having more outside involvement! If you have a topic that you are interested in talking about or that you would like to learn about, send us an email at ccarny@pace.edu and stay tuned for next semester’s meeting time.

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Paint a School Day (Photos 1 & 2)
October 17th, 2015
The CCAR, along with co-sponsoring groups from both campuses and over 120 students from both Pleasantville and New York City, helped to improve two Brooklyn schools at our annual Paint a School Day. The New York City campus team returned to the Riverdale Avenue Community School for a second year, where we traced 25 canvases with silhouettes of children dancing for the auditorium and pictures of smiling food for the cafeteria. A second group of students volunteered at PS 274K in Bushwick. From cleaning classrooms to painting staircases and even building a library, students were able to engage in anything they are interested in. It is easy to see why so many students, faculty, and alumni return in the spring and CCAR is excited to see even more people come out. Volunteering is an essential part of the college experience, and New York Cares Days are the perfect way to make friends and make a change.


New Roots (Photos)
September 18th & October 23rd, 2015
Students had two opportunities to travel uptown to the Bronx and volunteer at New Roots Community Farm. The staff explained composting and the importance of keeping the garden clean (of trash and weeds). New Roots is run by the International Rescue Committee and works to increase food security and enable refugees and recent immigrants to reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots in their new communities.


Hamilton Madison House (Photos)
October 31st, 2015
This Halloween, over 20 Pace students with the CCAR and NRHH helped to organize and run a party for the children of the Chinatown community. The Hamilton Madison House puts this party together annually. Volunteers set up a haunted house, helped children make trick-or-treat candy bags, and led craft tables to help get over 75 children in the Halloween spirit.


Earth Matter (Recap | Photos)
November 6th  & 13th, 2015
CCAR and students from the Environmental Justice and Social Change Learning Community went out to Governors Island to volunteer with Earth Matter. A total of 20 students, faculty, and staff got down and dirty with composting, animal care, and carpentry. The Earth Matter volunteers and staff taught Pace how to compost effectively and the different types of composting that goes on the island. Students learned how to harvest different veggies and clean out bed so that different things can be planted depending on the season. Another team was able to build a ‘cocoon room’ out of an old cargo container.

Nuclear Weapons: Facing the Humanitarian Costs (Recap)
November 18th, 2015
On Wednesday, November 18th, the Center for Community Action and Research hosted our final Common Hour Conversation of the semester, “Nuclear Weapons: Facing the Humanitarian Costs.” Dr. Emily Welty of the Peace and Justice Studies Department and Dr. Matthew Bolton of the Political Science Department co-facilitated an engaging conversation about nuclear weapons in the United States and around the world, a topic that is often overlooked despite its significance.


Volunteer and Activist Spotlights

This semester, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to spotlight some of Pace’s amazing community members. Check out their spotlights below, and take a look at our entire archive of spotlights here.

IMG_9590Chris Thomas (Spotlight)
Chris has been extremely involved in activism both on- and off-campus through his work with #PaceUEndRape, The Underground, and his involvement with Pace Protests and in the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement. Read his spotlight to find out more about Chris, his most memorable moment as an activist, and his advice for all aspiring Pace student activists!


PACE_NYC Faculty_2014-9063 cropBrian Evans (Spotlight)
Our first-ever faculty spotlight was Dr. Brian Evans, who wears many important hats here at Pace. He has volunteered with Pace for every Paint a School Day and Hands on New York Day as both a participant and a leader of student volunteers, is a recipient of the Bronze Medal Jefferson Award for Public Service, and serves as a role model for the entire Pace community for his dedication to the importance of service and civic engagement.



Matthew Champagne (Spotlight)
Our final activist spotlight of the Fall 2015 semester was Matthew Champagne, a Pace senior who balances being a full-time student with the Eagle Project, where he is the Associate Artistic Director and the Director of Educational Programming. Read on to learn more about Matt’s awesome work and why he thinks all Pace students should seek to be involved!