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Plymouth Unity Social Harvest

By Nick Pulliam
On November 2, 2018


On October 31, PSU Communication and Media Studies seniors hosted the first ever Plymouth Unity Social Harvest (PUSH) in downtown Plymouth. The event was part of their Senior Seminar community project.

At the event, students gave out candy to trick-or -treaters, painted pumpkins, and engaged in dialogue with community members. The goal was to put what they’ve been learning in Senior Seminar to use. In class they had learned about dialogic ethics and the need to build relationships and community. 

Dr. Annette Holba teaches the course and she explained that some residents of Plymouth may not have the best impression of PSU students. When referring to her students, she said, “They wanted to show the other side, in case people have negative feelings about Plymouth students. Because we always hear about the bad things, but we rarely hear about the good things that students do. They wanted to just kind of mend bridges and build relationships and they’re having fun. They’ve had adults and kids paint pumpkins.”

The university was already planning on having some sort of event downtown this year, but it evolved once the students became involved. “For years we have opened up the campus to local kids to come and Trick or Treat. It felt like we wanted to do something that was part of Main Street this year,” said Marlin Collingwood, the Director of Marketing Communication & Creative Services. He continued, “So my office was going to put on a little event and hand out some candy. I had a call from Annette who said her Senior Seminar is looking to do something for the community and she said, ‘Would you come to our class?’ So, I came to her class two days later in early September and I said, ‘I would love for you guys to take over the Halloween event.’”


So, the students did. To prepare for the event, they broke up into teams and worked on the logistics for having an event like this. They decided what they wanted to do and got all the necessary materials they would need. The students came up with the idea of painting pumpkins with community members and having a cardboard cut out stand that people could pose for pictures in. The students all dressed in costume and Pemi the Panther was at the event.

The event was well attended, with dozens of kids and parents parading down the sidewalk and meeting the students. President Birx even made an appearance and had good things to say about the event. “It’s a really neat opportunity to link up with the community in a way that gets us more integrated into the town,” he said.

In the end, the event was a huge success, with more people passing by than the students expected. Wyatt Simcox, one of the students in the Senior Seminar, said, “I think there’s a lot more people that are downtown today, which is awesome. It’s been cool to talk to just a lot more people than I really thought we’d be able to.”

Events like these show another side of PSU students and it’s great that so many people were able to see that in the end. Hopefully in the future, there will be more student organized functions like this one.

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