Students assemble to give back to Erie for GIVE Day


Michael Guido, Staff Writer

Gannon University’s annual GIVE Day took place Saturday, continuing a 21-year tradition that brings the Gannon family together and strengthens the university’s mission.
Students, faculty and staff joined together in the Hammermill Center around 8 a.m. Saturday after a quick check-in to meet up with their clubs or organizations, and to also receive complimentary T-shirts that read “GIVE” across the front.
Students were also offered food and drinks before heading into the Hammermill.
Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs, energized the student body with the wave and wished them good luck on their journey before the Rev. Michael T. Kesicki closed the gathering with a prayer.
Afterward, students sought out their means of transportation to their assigned volunteer spot, and the day officially began.
Muhammad Alsahlani, president of the Model UN club, led a group of six students to one of the beaches on Presque Isle.
They spent the morning removing waste that had washed up on shore and garbage left behind from cookouts.
Overall, Alsahlani said he enjoyed the day and emphasized the importance of it.
“GIVE Day means giving back to the Erie community,” Alsahlani said.
“Taking time out of my day, especially on a Saturday morning, I know is hard for most of us, but I like giving back to my community, and I enjoy being a part of it.”
Alsahlani noted how this event correlated with the overall mission and aim of Gannon, and what it means for the university.
“Gannon’s vision is always about overachieving and going above and beyond,” Alsahlani said.
“Our students are getting involved, our school is overachieving, and that’s good.”
Randall Sutter, a first-year student and active member of Model UN, also participated in the day’s activities.
He spoke about what the day meant to him, and also what it meant for the student body.
“The day is a chance to give back to the community that we all love and call home,” Sutter said.
“I think the event fits in great with the Catholic tradition and the faith mission of the university, to give back and really help those less fortunate than us, and lastly to give ourselves a clean and healthy environment to live in.”
The event drew a large following of people, both current and former members of the Gannon family, to participate.
According to a Gannon Instagram post, over 40 service sites were covered, including Harrisburg, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Erie and more.
Over 1,000 Gannon students, faculty, staff and alumni participated in the day.
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