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First ever Broncs Giving Week a success at UTPA
By Javier Espinoza, Intern
Posted: 11/16/2012
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The University of Texas-Pan American was in a generous mood Nov. 5-10 as it held its first-ever weeklong celebration “Broncs Giving Week” on campus.


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A member of the Sigma Kappa Phi fraternity serves mashed potatoes to hungry students, faculty and staff during UTPA's first-ever Broncs Giving Week. The fraternity provided meals to 580 people.

Various student organizations, faculty and staff organized the many events and presentations held at the University, including a canned food drive. All donated food items were sent to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.

“The canned food drive went really well,” said Raul Leal, a student majoring in communications studies. “The organizations that participated had fun and we were able to collect over 2,000 food items in just four days. It really was a great experience to see everyone come together and give back to the community.”

Leal, who is president of the Culinary Arts Club and the Office for Student Involvement coordinated with several community services agencies like the Boys and Girls Club, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and The Girls Scouts of America to host an awareness fair Nov. 5 on the Chapel Lawn where they gave out information on how to get involved and give back to the community.

On Nov. 6 Don Carlson, a lecturer with the Occupational Therapy Program, gave a presentation to students on how to improve personal health and wellness. He also provided students with resources where they can have easily accessible information to keep motivated in working toward a healthier lifestyle.

The Student Leadership Academy hosted their second annual “Hunger Banquet” Nov. 7 at the Student Union Café.

Hunger banquets explore issues of global resource inequity and bring awareness to poverty and hunger across the globe. Students who attend the hunger banquet are randomly given cards with different scenarios depicting their social class in life. Food is served according to where they are in terms of social class.

The Sigma Kappa Phi fraternity served a free meal to about 580 students, faculty and staff at its “Sigma Kappa Phi Thanksgiving Feast” Nov. 8 outside the Chapel Lawn. Kalvin Nguyen, social studies composite secondary education major and Sigma Kappa Phi member, was proud his organization was able to provide a meal to students, faculty and staff.

“I think Broncs Giving Week is a good idea. A lot of students can’t go home for the holiday or they just can’t afford to fly home. This feast is for our fellow students, and also faculty and staff members at UTPA, to show them we may be from different cultures or different regions, but we can still sit down as one and enjoy Thanksgiving,” he said.

The Student Union Theater held two showings of the popular film, “The Hunger Games” and students had a chance to knock down soda bottles during UTPA's traditional “Turkey Bowling,” with all proceeds going to the “Adopt-an-Angel” program.

Adopt an Angel helps UTPA students who receive financial aid and have children provide some Christmas gifts for their families.

At the closing ceremony Nov. 9, the Culinary Arts Club recognized the student organizations that helped with the Canned Food Drive.

Broncs Giving Week concluded Nov. 10 with Del Suggs’ “The Big Fall Leadership Workshop.”

Suggs is an award-winning American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and author of “True Leading: Lessons in Leadership.” His workshop for students entailed topics on Speed Networking, Leading Well, Leading Through Service, Goal Setting for Organizations, Secrets of Recruitment and How to Do Anything.