Orientation Activities Give Students Chance to Take Stand Against Hunger and Social Injustice

The class of 2020 experienced first hand what it means to serve society during undergraduate orientation. Instead of using technology, however, they donned hair nets and gloves to package tens of thousands of meals for undernourished people around the world.

About 200 new Tandon undergraduates participated in a food packaging event with Stop Hunger Now, an organization that operates meal packaging programs to send food to 65 countries in need, striving for the goal of eliminating world hunger. While packaging the meals, students not only enjoyed the role they played in helping people worldwide, they also got to know each other and laid the foundation for new friendships.

"We were thrilled to be able to host such a large-scale community service project for the first time,” said Associate Dean of Student Affairs Anita Farrington. “Our goal with partnering with Stop Hunger Now was to inspire new students to be service-minded and to further understand how they could have a global impact through their participation in a very short period of time. We will now follow through and promote our Poly Project which is our signature Student Affairs community service opportunity that provides regular and sustained service projects for our engineering students throughout Brooklyn."

In another orientation event, first-year students enjoyed a performance-based dialogue on social justice and diversity. Produced by a team with the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP) at NYU“Portraits” featured NYU students, alumni, and adjunct faculty. The performance incorporated historical and current artistic forms of expression to inspire a commitment to social inclusion. Patience Carter, a current NYU student who survived the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier this year, gave a soulful a capella rendition of the song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday in protest against racism in America. Afraz Khan, the student president of the NYU Muslim Students Association, passionately performed Muhammad Ali’s speech protesting his military conscription during the Vietnam War. “This is the day when such evil must come to an end,” Khan declared, referring to Ali’s conviction that war goes against his Muslim beliefs. The powerful presentations by the panel of talented students and alumni celebrated the social diversity of the students at NYU, and called on the audience to look to the past to understand the importance of tolerance and inclusion in today’s society.

Judy Lee
College of Arts and Science
B.A. in Sociology, Class of 2018