April 4, 2013

Mayor Svante Myrick inspires students to volunteer

Ithaca Maryor Svante Myrick talks to campus volunteers.
Robert Barker/University Photography
Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick '09 talks to campus volunteers April 1.

Students from across campus came together April 1 to hear Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 speak about volunteering and diversity at Cornell during an event for campus volunteers, “Class of 2017: Engage, Impact, Inspire.”

At the kickoff event in Robert Purcell Community Center, students learned about the opportunity to volunteer to host newly admitted students visiting the campus. Myrick spoke of “the duty we have to our community and to our school to volunteer and give back.”

Student representatives from the Red Carpet Society, CUIMAGE and Cornell Ambassadors gave a presentation to students interested in hosting students admitted to the Class of 2017. Student volunteers receive training and serve as hosts for potential freshmen as they explore campus. The program gives admitted Cornellians the opportunity to experience life as a student at Cornell and to see the university’s commitment to diversity.

“Our goal is to foster communication between current students on campus and prospective admitted students so they can get an honest view of what Cornell is like,” said Robert Scarlett ’13, co-chair of the Red Carpet Society.

Current Cornell students serve as ambassadors for the Cornell community and can help admitted students make an informed decision among their college options. During Cornell Days and Diversity Hosting Month, Cornell students also host information sessions and panel discussions to talk about student life and to answer questions from prospective students about the Cornell community.

After student presentations about volunteer opportunities, Myrick addressed the importance of diversity and giving back to the community. He spoke about coming to Cornell, saying his college experience empowered him to get involved on campus and in the Ithaca community.

“When I came here, I met people who made me feel like … this is a community that I can thrive in, that I can survive in,’” Myrick said.

Myrick – who said he was hosted as a prospective student and later hosted prospective students himself – encouraged students to get involved and thanked them for giving back to the university by volunteering to host. Students can use their energy, he said, to devote themselves to serve the community in any way that they feel passionate about.

While studying at Cornell, Myrick volunteered with youth in Ithaca, and that involvement in the community led him to his current service in local government, he said.

On community engagement and the significant impact of serving one’s community, Myrick said: “Here at Cornell, we are Cornell. … Nobody makes this university except us. Those of us who are prospective students have an influence on the university. Those of us who are current students, those who are alumni, staff, faculty, anybody who has a stake in this university is responsible for it.”

Julian Montijo ’15 is a writer intern for the Cornell Chronicle.