President Gilbert gives back


The Presidential Cabinet spent their afternoon cleaning in the Marvin Gray Sports Center at the Marcum Terrace Apartments this afternoon.

The community service project, which lasted from 1 to 4 p.m., was aimed to reorganize and clear out the upstairs exercise room in the sports center. President Gilbert, with several vice presidents and staff members, scrubbed floors, moved boxes and moved equipment in order to make a weight lifting space in the room.

Gilbert said the group cleared the space and cleaned it extensively, and he was proud of the work the group accomplished this afternoon. He said the change in the room was almost unbelievable. The group finished their task ahead of schedule and they then helped move trash into a truck so it could be disposed.

“This [involvement in the community] is me being a new president, wanting to bond with the vice presidents,” Gilbert said. “Also wanting to set the tone of the administration being service-oriented and community-oriented and the university being service-oriented.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Cedric Gathings said, “This is a good way for us to get together and learn more about the community and about our colleagues.”

Gilbert and Gathings, both from Mississippi and beginning their first full year at Marshall, said they want to take time to get out in the Huntington area and learn more about the people and community they serve.

“We want to do something every semester,” Gilbert said. “It’s hard to get all of [the cabinet] together, but we want to do as much as we can.”

Gathings said he hopes to see a ripple effect from the administration’s initiative to serve the community. As he works with student affairs, he meets with student organizations and tries to figure out what kind of service events students are willing to participate in. He also said he wants to work on offering more monthly service events for students.

Gathings said, “We try to lead by example. It’s easy for me to tell you what you should do, but I want to be doing what I believe in.”

Gathings and the Office of Student Affairs worked with Thundering Serve this weekend to perform community service projects across Huntington.

This past summer, President Gilbert and his cabinet also worked with Habitat for Humanity for another community service project. They enjoyed the afternoon so much they decided to continue working together for the community.

Brooke Estep can be contacted at [email protected].