Students walking past the Athletic Center Thursday morning may have noticed a long line of people along the walkway, eagerly waiting for the Bobcat Flea Market to open at 11 a.m. At the end of the day, the flea market raised more than $2,600 for QU301 students who will be working directly to aid the community in South Africa.
Academic Technology Multimedia Producer Peter Gallay teaches the QU301 South Africa course, where students have spent the semester studying the history of South Africa, reflecting on what they have learned multiple times per week through blog posts on the course’s individual website.
Nine students will stay in a township in South Africa from May 11 to May 27, where they will get the chance to carry out the service projects that they have spent the semester developing. These projects include building a playground and soccer field, planting and growing successful veggie gardens, and repairing tin roofs.
“I had the opportunity to go to South Africa and develop relationships with many of the people there,” Gallay said. “Through my travels, I’ve become very passionate about the community. The goal for the course is for students to develop a different perspective.”
The class partnered with Quinnipiac Athletics to sponsor the Bobcat Flea Market, where former Quinnipiac athletes’ jerseys, shorts, shoes and other items were sold at a discounted price. These items were donated by Quinnipiac students and faculty, as well as the Athletic Department. The profits, which totaled more than $2,600, will be used to fund the students’ service projects during their trip.
“The Athletic Department sponsored an event like this a few years ago, and it’s great for the Quinnipiac community,” Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald said. “Seeing the students so interested and excited is a great tribute to the Bobcat spirit, and a testament to the QU301 students’ hard work.”
Students and faculty members waited in line for more than 20 minutes before the event began, and within 30 minutes of the event starting, most of the items had been sold. The impressive turnout not only allowed students to purchase quality Bobcat gear, but also spread the word about the QU301 South Africa class to a greater portion of the student body.
“I think it’s an awesome idea,” senior Emily Lager said. “I’m going to be graduating soon and I’m excited to get the chance to buy some QU gear, especially since the money is going to a great cause.”
The course, titled “From a Tourist to Township Perspective: QU301,” focused largely on learning how South Africa fits into the global community. Through films, activities and its own personal reflections, the class has learned a great deal about the culture.
“We did three blogs a week, reflecting on what we learned about South Africa’s history,” junior Ryan Wragg said, a QU301 South Africa class student. “In the beginning of the semester, I was just excited for the trip. But now, I have a totally different perspective after learning about the culture and all they have been through. It will definitely be a wake-up call.”
The students will be working with The Tippy Toes Foundation, which aids underprivileged communities in South Africa. Though there will be a tourist aspect to the trip, the students’ main focus will be working with the communities through service projects. They will update the blog daily throughout the trip, sharing their experiences and reflecting on their roles in the community.
“We have our Quinnipiac community, and to recognize it playing a role in the global community will be a once in a lifetime experience,” Gallay said. “It’s an opportunity for the students to do something different.”
To read the students’ blog posts and follow their experiences in South Africa, visit www.qu301southafrica.com