Video feature: Student-athletes serve New Jersey communities

Aug. 5, 2013 noon
Weapons of Mass Construction index

The Weapons of Mass Construction initiative unites Princeton student-athletes across all varsity sports in service projects. Above, Jaison Zachariah, of the Class of 2013 and a member of the sprint football team, pauses from cleanup duties at the storm-damaged Jersey Shore to describe giving back to the community as an "awesome experience."

Video stills courtesy of the Princeton Varsity Club

The 2012-13 academic year marked the fifth year of the Weapons of Mass Construction community service initiative spearheaded by the Princeton Varsity Club. Princeton student-athletes took on two projects — helping to build a community garden and restoring hurricane-damaged properties.

An extension of the Department of Athletics' motto of "Education Through Athletics," the program is a way for undergraduate student-athletes, coaches and administrators to give back to the region.

This video shows students at work on the projects they undertook this year. In the fall, 40 student-athletes helped to build the Gandhi Garden, which turned a vacant lot into a safe and inspiring space in the city of Trenton, N.J. In the spring, 60 student-athletes volunteered as part of the rebuilding effort on the Jersey Shore, working to help restore seven sites, ranging from homes to high schools, from Toms River to Mantoloking, that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

To date, the Weapons of Mass Construction program has seen more than 555 volunteers dedicate about 2,225 service hours to the community. Photos and more details about their projects are available on the Princeton Varsity Club website.