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May 25, 1998

Unity Festival brings UCSC students, Santa Cruz community together

By Francine Tyler

Members of the UCSC and Santa Cruz communities may listen to music, enjoy free food, and browse for information on volunteer opportunities at the Unity Festival on Friday, June 5. The festival, free and open to the public, takes place at the Student Center from 2 to 6 p.m.

In years past, the festival has been considered a "volunteer recognition party," and although one of the primary purposes this year is to honor student volunteers, the event is also seen as a way to bring students and the Santa Cruz community together, said Cari Boyd, one of the co-coordinators at the Student Volunteer Connection (SVC). The SVC is sponsoring the event with the assistance of other campus organizations.

"The festival provides an opportunity for representatives of community organizations to talk to UCSC students and let them know what they're all about," said Boyd. "It can also be a great place for the organizations to find volunteers."

Boyd estimates that approximately 20 nonprofit organizations will staff information tables at the festival and hopes that at least 10 to 15 student organizations will also participate. Approximately 150 people attended the event last year.

The Student Volunteer Connection (SVC) is a student-run program designed to facilitate and encourage student volunteerism in the Santa Cruz community. SVC refers volunteers to a variety of organizations and programs in the local area, including Above the Line, where volunteers provide services to homeless youth; Big Brothers Big Sisters, a recreation and support center for children; a tutoring program at La Familia Center; and a 24-hour crisis line, where trained individuals provide suicide-prevention counseling.

For more information, call the Student Volunteer Connection at (408) 459-3363. For disability accommodation, call 459-2934.

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