Sociology class inspires revived ‘Bobcat Sweep’

Chris Leary

Professor Ronald Webb had explicit instructions for his sociology class: every student had to think outside the box.

That sort of outside-the- box thinking has inspired students from his class, Program Planning and Administration, to help veterans in need.

“We needed to focus on a group of people in need for our semester-long project, and no one deserves our help more than those who have served us and our country,” junior Katherine Demezzo said.

Demezzo and classmates Sean Hallinan, Sarah Stevenson, and Kari Whitten have been organizing a project that will give the Veterans Affairs Department in New Haven its biggest donation in recent memory.

With help from the Office of Community Service, the group, self-named S.T.E.P-UP (Students Together Empowering People), will run a new and improved version of “Bobcat Sweep.”

“After we decided who we were going to help, we needed to think of a way to do it,” Whitten said. “I remembered how Quinnipiac used to run a program called Bobcat Sweep that would come and pick up furniture and other items when you were moving out of your dorms.”

The students have set a goal to obtain 300 items from Quinnipiac University during the three-day collection period, which will take place from Friday, April 30 until Sunday, May 2.

“We felt that if we were going to get as many items as possible that we needed more than just one day, and that we would need to cover more than just one area of our university,” Stevenson said.

During these three days, the group will collect donations between 2 and 5 p.m. On Friday, donations will be accepted on the Mount Carmel campus near the bobcat statue. On Saturday, the group will be at the York Hill campus, and on Sunday the group will be taking donations from Whitney Village and off-campus houses.

“We will be accepting beds, lamps, tables, chairs, couches and kitchen appliances that are in good condition,” Hallinan said. “We just hope that students won’t throw out items rather than donate them to a good cause.”

Letting such items go to waste, the group said, would be exactly the inside-the-box mentality that Webb and his students want people to avoid.