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CMU to commemorate MLK Jr. Day through service

Mount Pleasant senior Paul Barlow holds up a banner while leading hundreds of students during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march Monday afternoon on the campus Central Michigan University. (Charlotte Bodak/Staff Photographer)

Mount Pleasant senior Paul Barlow holds up a banner while leading hundreds of students during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march Monday afternoon on the campus Central Michigan University. (Charlotte Bodak/Staff Photographer)

Central Michigan University plans to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday in the spirit of service this year.

Although it is highly encouraged by many in the university, many students don’t choose to celebrate the holiday because they are unsure how to do it.

“I don’t really celebrate that many holidays,” said Chelsea freshman Ashley Tisdale.  It’s not because I don’t think it’s an important holiday; I just don’t know how to celebrate such a holiday.”

Grant sophomore, Mario Garza II, also said he doesn’t celebrate MLK Day, but recognizes its importance.

“(It is) important to acknowledge people in history who made a difference,” Garza said. “If not for them, we would not be where we are today, and we would not have the things we have. For change to happen, we must acknowledge history and how we came to be where we are today, or there would be no change.”

The Office of Multicultural Academic Student Services and the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center is creating new options for students to participate in MLK Day celebrations.

On Monday in the Bovee University Center, the Volunteer Center is putting on a “Day of Service.” There will be six different service projects in the spirit of activism starting at 1 p.m. in various rooms in the UC.

In the Maroon Room of the UC, there will be blanket-making, and the volunteer center will be having a Safer Sex Patrol kit stuffing session. In the Mackinaw room, students can make Valentines for Veterans, put on by the Commission on Aging. Students in the Lakeshore Room will be putting together personal care kits, sponsored by Community Compassion Network, and the Ausable Room will have a Take Back the Tap presentation and recyclable notebook-making.

Another thing students could do to celebrate is join the CMU Center for Inclusion and Diversity on their MLK Day walk from downtown to campus, which is followed up by a candlelight vigil later that night.

An MLK Week Soup and Substance will take place in the UC Rotunda at noon on January 23. Diversity-related topics will be discussed over a soup luncheon.

“An Evening with Retired General Colin Powell” will wrap up MLK Day’s celebratory week. Powell will be speaking Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the McGuirk Arena. Admission is free, and tickets can be obtained by picking them up at CMU Ticket Central Office.

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