Minot State University football players were making quick work of a grueling task: digging holes for footings inside the big cat enclosure at Roosevelt Park Zoo.
"They're pounding out holes," said Lindsey Nelson, a junior from Bainville, Mont., and the student government president.
Nelson told the students the holes would be done when they could stand in them.
From left to right, incoming Minot State University freshmen Kevin Orozco, of Port St. Lucy, Fla., Brad Boswell, of Ogden, Utah, and Brandon Boston, of Richmond, Texas, dig holes for footings inside the big cat enclosure at Roosevelt Park Zoo on Thursday. All new students are required to help out at the zoo or other places in the community this year as part of orientation activities.
All new students at Minot State are required to participate in a community service project as part of freshmen orientation. About 250 new freshmen signed up to help clean up the zoo. It's the second year that Minot State has had the community service requirement. Groups of students will be at the zoo through the end of the week and on Monday.
Nelson, one of the orientation leaders, said the level of enthusiasm varies a bit depending on the task.
"Yesterday my group was so energetic," she said. Students assigned to dig the holes in the cat pens, which will be used as the foundation for wooden platforms that the big cats can lounge on, did more grumbling. The group there on Thursday afternoon, most of them incoming freshmen and members of the football team, made fast work of the task.
"It's all for the kids, ma'am," explained Brandon Boston, a new freshman from Richmond, Texas. He was digging holes with his teammates, Kevin Orozco, from Port St. Lucy, Fla., and Brad Boswell, of Ogden, Utah.
Nelson said the freshmen volunteers have also helped sweep the pathways at the zoo, pick up debris, and have done lots of painting.
Orientation week activities also include a campus tour and ice breaker activities that help the new students get to know one another. The community service activity helps students become involved in the community and gets them thinking about the importance of helping others.
Classes start Monday at Minot State University.