Friendly faces, helping hands
The fifth floor of Glen Tower A is not the average college residence hall floor.
Known as Tigers Serving Others (TSO), the floor plans and participates in community service events and projects, such as tabling for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Sept. 30.
“What makes me so proud, especially about this floor, is that they’re taking it on their own. Each month, they wind up doing a different topic so they’re actually taking their passions and just running with it which I think is super cool,” Jessica Joy Curry, the residence life coordinator of Tower A, said.
This month, TSO is spreading awareness of both breast cancer and the MDA.
The MDA is a non-profit health agency that is dedicated to finding cures and treatments for over 40 different types of neuromuscular diseases, including one of the most known neuromuscular diseases, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, named after the famous Yankee baseball player who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the 1930s.
“Personally, I’ve been involved with MDA for about five years now. I know a lot of people with muscular dystrophy and one of my passions is to spread the word about what it is because not a lot of people really know what it is, even though millions of people are affected by it. We chose that as our first cause to kickoff the point and to spread awareness,” sophomore Janelle Hartman said.
TSO is one of Towson’s residential communities where students who live on the floor get together and discuss a specific topic, or in TSO’s case, plan community service events.
“We come together and plan the community service projects, and we have a really good family feel and support each other. We also have an open door policy. We are always walking around and talking to each other and always up-to-date to the latest causes and what’s going on around campus,” Hartman said.
TSO is in its fourth year.
It was created when HRL and OSA wanted to create a floor that was connected to Project Serve, a pre-orientation program that allows freshmen and transferring students to arrive three days before everyone else to get together and do community service activities.
Since then, TSO was created, but not only did it bring a great homecoming experience to freshmen and transferring students, TSO also brought lifetime friendships and a better dorm experience.
“I thought it would be cool because I would know people from Project Serve who will also be on the TSO floor so it was a really great way to make friends and to keep the connections that I made from Project Serve,” sophomore Stephanie Vaughn said. “My best friends are on the TSO floor and we get to do the coolest things and I’ve just become more and more involved with community service. Community service is a great way to make friends and just be more excited about living at Towson.”
Anyone can join TSO, even if they don’t live on the floor, by emailing Curry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want to spread our passion for service and we want others to feel passionate in serving others. There are some people that don’t naturally instinct serving others or pick up someone’s books that they dropped or spend hours to plan an event. Most people don’t think of that as a priority, but we want to show that it is fun and cool and it’s not something that is nerdy. We have a wide range of students and we just want to have fun while serving others,” Hartman said.