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Civic Engagement

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.

The University of Rochester encourages students to engage with their communities by supporting different days of engagement throughout the year, including:

Outside of these days of engagement, RCCL supports students in their own efforts by advising engagement-focused student groups and the Community Service Network.

Wilson Day

Wilson Day is an annual day of community engagement for new University of Rochester students. It serves to introduce students to both their new Rochester home and their campus residential community.

Celebrated each fall since 1988, Wilson Day is a proud tradition with Rochester faculty, staff, and students. Students are placed at nearly 100 agencies throughout the city of Rochester and perform a variety of tasks including setting up classrooms, painting houses, gardening, and exploring the city.

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

Wilson Day 2019

Monday, August 26th | 12:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Enrolling at the University of Rochester means becoming a citizen, not just a visitor, of the unique and vibrant city of Rochester. As new neighbors, the Class of 2023 and incoming transfer students will take part in the city's avid art and music scene, discover Rochester's captivating history, enjoy the delicious cuisine of the 585 area code, and participate in the civic life of the community.

2019 marks the 31st anniversary of Wilson Day. This year's theme, Rooted to Rochester, emphasizes the importance of making a strong, lasting, and genuine connection to the city that students call home. Students will plant seeds of that connection on Wilson Day, but it is up to them to nurture it and help it grow.

There are many ways to get connected to the community, from volunteering at schools to shopping at local businesses to simply taking a walk in Genesee Valley Park. It is our hope that for each of our new students, Wilson Day is just the beginning of their relationship with Rochester.

"A leader is a planter -- a planter of ideas, seeds of change, and a vision for justice." -Artika Tyner

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.