Today, October 11, is University Improvement Day at WSU, and that means classes meeting before 3:30pm are canceled!

Immediately, most college students rejoice in a day to sleep in, get extra hours at work or catch up on homework. But, do you fully understand what this day is all about?

University Improvement Day has been part of the campus culture for many years. In the past, Vicki English served as the Community Liaison at WSU and organized volunteer opportunities for students on this day. After English’s retirement, the day was viewed as a day for staff and faculty development more than students volunteering to improve the community. Then, Kendra Weber was hired as the new Director of Community Engagement in the fall of 2014. Since Weber has been in the position, there have been events such as “Good Neighbors,” “Clean Sweep” and “Spruce up Winona” as volunteer options for students. Other activities include a sexual violence training workshop hosted by Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and National Coming Out Day events.

Furthermore, University Improvement Day is as straightforward as it sounds; it is a day for members of the WSU community to work together to improve the university and community we are apart of – a community of learners improving our world.

Recently, I blogged about the importance of improving yourself with 10 self-care tips. Then I shared 10 steps to improve how you treat others. Now that you have begun the process of improving yourself and others around you, it’s time to start improving the community you are part of, and today is that time!

If you want to improve the community or volunteer but don’t know how, look into Winona Volunteer ServicesLive Well Winona and sign up for the Homecoming Clean Sweep that begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16 at the Gazebo. You can also like WSU’s Improving Our World Facebook page to keep up on the latest opportunities.

Regardless of what you choose to improve today, whether it’s yourself, the community or WSU, do something your future self will be proud of and others will thank you for.