Waltham Group recruits new members to expand service

Waltham Group recruits new members to expand service

September 11, 2015

Students attended the Waltham Group’s recruitment night on Thursday, Sept. 10 in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC). Founded in 1966, the Waltham Group is an umbrella community service organization that houses 20 different subgroups. These groups all cater to different areas of interest and offer many opportunities for students to participate in community service in Waltham and the greater Boston area.

The Waltham Group is a very important part of the Brandeis community. “Waltham Group is an integral part of campus because it acts as a core for many of the community service programs available,” said co-president Kaiwen Chen ’16 said in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. He believes that Waltham Group allows students to “share resources and experiences.”

As the largest club on campus, each year Waltham Group holds a recruitment fair to inform students about the different groups in the organization and encourage them to volunteer. According to Lucas Malo, the director of the Department of Community Service, “Waltham Group recruitment night has evolved and changed over the years in location, layout and structure. There used to be formal presentations with lecture style seating to our current fair-like setup. This year’s event will be a special celebration.”

Students enjoyed ice cream sundaes while perusing the information at each group’s table and signing up for the ones that interested them most. Waltham Group Co-president Shaina Dorow ’16 said that the Waltham Group provides students with the opportunity to try new things, even if they have already participated in volunteerism in high school.

One of Waltham Group’s many clubs is Brandeis Buddies. “Brandeis Buddies is a Waltham Group club that strives to bridge the gap between Brandeis students and adults with developmental disabilities. Through recreational and social activities such as crafts, games and open dialogue… Brandeis Buddies helps to build a stronger and more complete community both at Brandeis and in Waltham,” said coordinators Elena Stoeri-D’Arrigo ’16 and Emily Horowitz ’16.

Another group, Language and Cultural Enrichment, helps middle school children in Waltham who have recently immigrated to the United States learn English and adjust to American culture.

Students were impressed by the variety of different groups they had to choose from. “In high school I did a lot of volunteer work, so I thought in college I would just do the same because I like to give back to the community. I feel like Waltham Group has a lot of great volunteer opportunities, and there’s so many different opportunities that I would like to try,” Jennifer Zhen ’19 said.

Many students don’t know about the Waltham Group before arriving at Brandeis but are eager to get involved once they find out about it. Rachel Groth ’19 said, as soon as she found out about Waltham Group she was interested.

As more students join, Waltham Group’s goals for the semester are to continue to expand their legacy and get more students to log their hours on Sage. “For the upcoming semester, we hope that people get even more involved in service and track their hours. We’re not logging anywhere near what we actually are doing. This year, we hope to integrate the Waltham Group more and have more volunteer-wide events,” Dorow said.

Recruitment night is just the beginning and Waltham Group will only continue to thrive as it expands. “Waltham Group has been able grow and expand in response to both student interest and community need and we have only been able to do so with its strong student leadership model and all of the subprograms coming together to enhance each other’s programs,” Malo said. “Waltham Group is important as it is one of the ways that students can step outside of the Brandeis campus to explore our home city of Waltham, gain hands-on experience, and share a love of mutual learning with our community.”

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