By Cheria V. Dial
SSP started autumn 2016 with 93 students in Scholars East and Scholars West. For our first event of the semester, we kicked things off with a team building experience at SuperGames in Worthington where students participated in a range of activities designed to get them interacting with one another. The Scholarship Committee hosted its 3rd annual Things I Wish I Would’ve Known As a Freshman panel discussion featuring juniors and seniors who got their start in SSP. The program was well attended and upperclassmen shared tons of advice with incoming students about how to successfully navigate Ohio State. Following the first long weekend of the semester after Labor Day we had the opportunity to return to SSP’s roots at Ohio Stadium. The students loved hearing firsthand from alumni about the history of SSP during the Stadium Welcome Event and of course enjoyed taking pictures on the football field.
Our annual fall break trip took us to our nation’s capital in October. 47 students elected to spend a long weekend in Washington, D.C exploring our nation’s history, learning how to take public transportation in a large city, and visiting some interesting sites. We were fortunate to tour the Capitol Building and do a walking tour outside the White House where we learned all about government scandals. A major highlight was scoring tickets to the newest Smithsonian – the National Museum of African American History and Culture – and enjoying a group lunch in the Sweet Home Café which features African American cuisine from various regions of the country. SSP’s longstanding tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in the residence hall with alumni continues to be one of the most well attended events.
Autumn semester also included a number of service opportunities. We sent a group to Community Commitment in August, and cleaned up Weiland Park and the Olentangy Trail in September. In October we gave all 4 kitchens in Scholars East and Scholars West a thorough cleaning, cleaned up High Street after a home football game, and made cookies and Halloween decorations for Creative Living – a nearby agency that houses people with physical disabilities, many of whom are OSU students. In November we volunteered at the Columbus Main Library to help them prepare for their Big Book Sale, collaborated with Inspire OSU to make superhero capes for kids receiving treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, made cards and cookies for residents of the OSU Vet House as a Veteran’s Day tribute, and did yardwork for Unferverth House – a non-profit that provides housing to families of patients receiving treatment at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. From celebrating birthdays and recognizing the many SSP’ers with 3.5+ GPAs, to doing homework together while enjoying treats from Buckeye Donuts, this was truly a wonderful semester for the program. I am very much looking forward to spending spring semester with some of the most talented students on campus.