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Civic Engagement

Wilson Days of Engagement

The Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL) supports service as a mutually beneficial act of meaningful engagement. We encourage students to learn from the community—its assets and its needs—as they donate time and skills to support community-based initiatives.

While service can be useful in developing personal leadership and problem-solving skills, we recognize that service is most effective when done in partnership with others, not to or for them.

Wilson Day has been a cherished University of Rochester tradition since 1988. In past years, Wilson Day has been a day of engagement and service for first-year students during orientation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this annual tradition will be drastically different this year. Instead of a single day of service, we will have Wilson Days of Engagement for the 2020–21 academic year.

This format will give our students multiple in-person and virtual opportunities to connect with the community. We expect all first-year students to participate in at least two of the highlighted events during each semester (fall and spring).

The goals for Wilson Days of Engagement are to:

  • Help students get to know the Rochester community through meaningful personal interaction and increased understanding of the city’s historical and current social contexts 
  • Introduce the importance of community engagement as part of our students’ undergraduate experience
  • Provide students with the resources to be good ambassadors to our community 

As the only college within Rochester’s city limits, we strive to be responsible, respectful, and engaged members of our community. Through Wilson Days of Engagement, the University of Rochester hopes to instill an appreciation of Rochester and a dedication to service in all of its students.

Be the Change Day

Be the Change Day is a national day of service honoring the legacy of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Thousands of participants across the country collectively contribute numerous hours of community service in the spirit of Gandhi’s challenge to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Service opportunities take place across the City of Rochester and connect students to our local community. Held annually on the first Saturday in October, the University of Rochester has been participating since 1997.

MLK Jr. Day of Service/King for a Day

King for a Day (KFAD) is a Rochester-wide day of service that brings together students from University of Rochester, students from other area colleges, and community members to honor Dr. King's legacy. The day begins with a powerful kick-off event that brings together all of these stakeholders through a free breakfast and entertainment. Volunteers then serve throughout the Rochester area to celebrate service. KFAD is held annually in the month of January.