Service week to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

By Rhea Riley

This week NIU will hold service events to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and his efforts as a civil rights activist.

NIU’s Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning has coordinated with campus organizations, such as the LGBT Resource Center, the Latino Resource Center and the Center for Black Studies, to create this week’s events.

In late July, the office and resource centers began planning the type of events to be held. They discussed Martin Luther King Jr.’s core values and how they could incorporate them into the events.

“We want to increase the consciousness of our student body, to make people happy and aware of what people did and realize something greater than ourselves,” said Wale Adetunji, Black Student Union president.

Adetunji had been campaigning for the week’s activities, trying to make sure students know of the events that will be held. He also wants the student body to be aware of the importance of this week and to take more out of it than expected.

Lucero Martinez, office graduate assistant and AmeriCorps VISTA member, was part of the planning committee and said it is important to get students involved.

AmeriCorps VISTA is an organization working to eliminate poverty and assist student veterans, students who struggle academically and low-income, first-generation college students.

“It’s important because knowing they are making a difference will inspire them to continue to serve after their college years,” Martinez said.

She said assisting in the service week was a part of her role as a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA.

“It’s a great way for students to celebrate equality and connect with the DeKalb and Sycamore community,” said office graduate assistant Erin Holman.

The office received a grant of $1,200 in order to sponsor the events. This will be the second Martin Luther King Jr. service week at NIU, and the faculty hopes to continue next year.

“We hope to grow very popular this year and even bigger in attendance next year,” Holman said.