September 13, 2017

Saluki Service Days activities planned

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale students will show their concern for people and the world around them by volunteering their time and energies to give back during Saluki Service Days.

The university is sponsoring a number of opportunities this fall for students to make a difference, whether through cleanup efforts at various public areas, helping charitable causes or in other ways. Saluki Service Days kick off with a Friends of Shawnee Trash Blast from 8 a.m. until about 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17. Students will hike around the trails at Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest and pick up trash, something organizers say is particularly needed after eclipse watchers visited there.

Other Saluki Service Days include:

  • Alzheimer’s Walk – Sept. 23, helping with set-up, registration, water and food stations and other activities for the Alzheimer’s Association benefit. It takes place at Bucky’s Haven on campus lake and helpers are needed 6:30-10 a.m.
  • National Public Lands Day with Green Earth – Sept. 30, assisting the local conservation group Green Earth Inc. with trail upgrades in the Chautauqua Bottoms Preserve from 9 a.m. to noon. 
  • Saluki 5K Run – Sept. 30, helping from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. with water stations and other needs for the Saluki 5K race around Campus Lake.
  • Saluki Food Pantry Service Day – Oct. 13, assisting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the food pantry, which is located within the Student Center and serves SIU students.
  • Touch of Nature Trail Stewardship Day – Oct.22, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. shifts are available for students to help with clean-up projects, building trails and other needs at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.
  • Make a Difference Day with Keep Carbondale Beautiful – Oct. 28, working with Keep Carbondale Beautiful 9-11 a.m. to pick up litter and spruce up the city of Carbondale.
  • Campus Green Action Day – Dec. 1, volunteers will meet at SIU’s Innovation and Sustainability Hub, located in the Student Center, and disperse around campus, working on a variety of sustainability-related projects from 2 to 5 p.m.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the various Saluki Service Days projects which take place Sept. 17, 23 and 30; Oct. 13, 22 and 28; and Dec. 1. The complete schedule and details are available online at For more information, contact Geory Kurtzhals at 618/453-2846 or or JD Tanner at 618/453-1121 or

“When I am working with students for Saluki Service Days, I am always impressed by the positive reception that students feel as they pick up litter in different neighborhood. Residents come out and thank them. Such events are a great way to build community,” said Sarah Heyer, executive director Keep Carbondale Beautiful.

The number of student volunteers needed for each community service project varies. Saluki Service Days is a Student Affairs initiative.

“Engaging in community service through Saluki Service Days provides students with the opportunity to become active members of the SIU community,” Lori Stettler, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said. “It enables students to acquire skills and knowledge, as well as providing a service to those who need it most while making a meaningful contribution to our community.”

Students can find additional details and register online at to participate. Those who sign up at least two weeks prior to the service day of their choice are assured of receiving a free T-shirt.

Student volunteers are welcome to sign up for any or all activities, allowing them to earn community service hours while providing valuable services to the region.

For more information, contact Geory Kurtzhals at 618/453-2846 or or JD Tanner at 618/453-1121 or