HU Students Plunge into Service

On August 23, Huntington University incoming new students boarded vans and traveled with their New Student Orientation groups to predetermined locations in the Huntington County community to spend the afternoon working on service projects.

The Plunge, as this afternoon of community service is called, is a tradition at Huntington University. 

“The Plunge originated as a practical way to break up the Orientation routine by doing something fun and beneficial,” said Dr. Norris Friesen, director of volunteer service and outreach ministry. “The Plunge allows us the opportunity to interact with a lot of different community agencies and give new students a feel for how the campus impacts the community through service.”

In addition to helping new students connect to the greater Huntington community, the service projects help students connect with each other, a crucial step in adjusting to life away from home for the first time. 

“It is a good team building exercise for the Orientation groups, and even though they get dirty, they feel like they did something beneficial and helped someone in the process,” said Friesen. “In my opinion, it emulates what it means to be an HU Forester and a serious follower of Christ.” 

In 2019, groups of students, along with a faculty and upperclassman student mentor, served the Police Athletic League (PAL), Love INC, Forks of the Wabash, Habitat for Humanity, the Huntington Area Recreational Trails Association (HARTA), the Dream Center, Victory Noll, the community garden, Kids Kampus, Faith Community Church of God, Heritage of Huntington, the YMCA, the Humane Society, Miller’s Merry Manor, a local residence, Thornhill Nature Preserve, the Quayle Center, the Youth Services Bureau and Salamonie Reservoir. 

“My favorite part about the Plunge was how we were able to serve in the community we live in and be able to see the change we made,” said Makayla James, current upperclassman and new student mentor. “Getting to meet new people while doing it is also so exciting!”