By Briana Oldham
Every year, the Student Government Association (SGA) participates in a competition known as CANstruction, an event where a structure is built out of cans.
Various businesses and organizations come together annually to help raise awareness and bring in donations for those who are in need. The cans raised by SGA later go to Lift Up Vikes!, a food pantry on campus specifically for Cleveland State University students.
Cleveland State has been part of CANstruction for at least four years, and this year, it was the only university involved.
“We were able to proudly represent our campus community, among local stakeholders, while working together in a creative way with Cleveland State staff and administration,” SGA President Aeisha Kangan said.
Kangan went on to elaborate that SGA’s public service projects and initiatives reach those who they can directly interact with. CANstruction is something in which university students can get involved with, as the structure that is submitted into competition is recreated at the Student Center.
With CANstruction currently up for viewing at SouthPark Mall, the recreation will be available for viewing until close to the end of spring semester. Kangan feels it is important to participate in the tradition of giving back to others.
In addition to Cleveland State, the other teams in 2017 were Herschman Architects, Perspectus Architects and The United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Kangan mentioned the great number of cans that were collected and the assistance of other groups on campus to create a collaborative effort that helped Cleveland State shine.
“In conjunction with FAST and Lift Up Vikes!, we used 1,250 cans this year. All canned food items will be donated to Lift Up Vikes! at the conclusion of the structures showcase at SouthPark Mall and the Student Center,” Kangan said.
Lift Up Vikes! offers compassionate understanding while assisting the students who need it.
Through it, Cleveland State students are connected to resources that supplement nutritional and other basic human needs. On average, 15 students are fed per day.
With every interaction being done in confidentiality, Lift Up Vikes! provides those in need with more than food items.
Coupled with fresh produce, meat, dairy and nonperishable food, they also provide personal care and household items, laundry facilities, a kitchen, lockers and workshops on financial planning and other topics.
SGA’s Executive Board made the decision to donate the funds used to buy the canned goods that were later donated to Lift Up Vikes! The decision to donate to Lift Up Vikes! is revisited each year.
“The SGA Senate deliberates on the allocation of funds that we, as student representatives, believe in,” Kangan said. “It ultimately goes back to our students and Viking community.”