VWP scheduled on campus October 4 through 8, 2021
The Volunteer Work Project (VWP) is a hardy band of dedicated volunteers (alumni and friends of the College) who travel from across the country four times per year to gather on campus and pitch in on a wide variety of projects.
When VWP was last on campus in January 2020, the name COVID-19—the disease caused by the Novel Coronavirus—had not yet been coined, and the impacts of the impending pandemic were still unforeseen. By March all events were cancelled, campus was closed to all but essential personnel, and students and employees were scattered across the country as we discovered a fully virtual manifestation of the Antiochian community.
Fortunately, the campus community was able to return in the Fall of 2020 and the College—with the diligent monitoring and guidance of the COVID Safety Team—has found a way to safely mitigate risk while resuming more in-person activities. And so, VWP is now scheduled for its own, long overdue return to campus October 4 through 8.
All VWP participants will need to be fully vaccinated and follow the College’s health and safety protocols while on campus. While some aspects of the Work Project will be different in order to comply with current guidelines, West Hall will be open for housing. Newcomers are welcome to participate with seasoned veterans always ready and willing to provide guidance.
I had never participated in a VWP previously…
…but was interested in returning to campus when I read that one of the planned projects was supporting the work of the Prison Justice Initiative. Criminal justice and community organizing were important areas of study when I was at Antioch and I graduated with a degree in Social Welfare from Jewel Graham’s program. My focus was exploring viable rehabilitative alternatives to incarceration. We never imagined the current imprisonment of 2,000,000 people in theUnited States!
So here I am sorting through boxes of books generously donated for distribution to prisoners in Ohio and surrounding states. It was a logical undertaking for me for another reason. We have had a bookstore in Hamden, Connecticut for 25 years. It is the pride and joy and wonderful creation of my wife who has made a like-new used bookstore into a gathering place for community projects, craft classes, book clubs and political meetings.