Adventure & Community Service (OACS) residential living community provides
its members with experiential learning activities in a nontraditional
setting. The outdoor adventure component is designed to develop
interpersonal and leadership skills; the community service component is
designed to instill responsibility and engage students in the community
around them. The intended outcome is a more well-rounded, holistic student.
What are the benefits of joining
OACS has a history of being a group of students who have established
friendships that extend beyond the university’s boundaries. Because the
majority of our members live with each other in the same community, they are
not only acquaintances, but also friends, roommates, and even study
Teamwork Skills -
in OACS helps develop
a student’s leadership and teamwork skills. OACS members are often placed in
that demand trust and
mutual support of one another. In addition, OACS community
members are asked
to “take charge” by developing project ideas and/or taking the lead in the
planning different events.
in Challenging Activities -
walking across a beam that is secured 100 feet above the ground, or paddling
down a raging river with four of your friends in the boat with you. Or how
about crawling through a dark, wet cave, or trekking through the
snow-covered woods. Or perhaps you’re simply trying to start a campfire in
the rain. These are some typical challenges that our members face while
participating in OACS-sponsored activities.
Adventure component in OACS provides a meaningful way for students to engage
in challenging, risk-taking, activities in a socially acceptable way.
Although the perceived risk in many of these activities is high, the actual
risk and danger is low.
As an OACS
member, you will get involved in the campus and local community. You will
help those who are less fortunate, and you will make the community in which
you live a better place to be.
founded as a residential living community in the fall of 2004 by former
director of housing & residence life Bryan Valentine, who had hoped to
attract students who, among other things, were involved with the Boy & Girl
Scouts during high school.
initial year, a group of 11 first-year students lived in the community,
which was then located in the University Court. They took part in a variety
of activities, ranging from camping and hiking trips to highway cleanups.
This was also the year that Pitt-Greensburg’s OACS began participating in
the annual Habitat for Humanity “Collegiate Challenge” spring break trip to
Florida. Habitat for Humanity is
now a separate student organization at Pitt-Greensburg.
In the fall
the OACS community was moved to the first floor of Marshall House in the
Academic Villages. Around this same time, OACS director Bryan Valentine left
Pitt-Greensburg to pursue another position, and Brian Root, a newly-hired
resident director at the time, took over the OACS director role.
The group was
once again moved a year later in the fall of 2007 to Westmoreland Hall,
where it is now located. Current accommodations allow for the group to house
16 residents (4 people to an apartment). During the 2006-07 school year, the
members of OACS began allowing “non-residents” to apply for membership. This
move allowed the group to expand to 20+ members in the fall of 2007 for the
first time in its short history. Now, OACS is not only a residential living
community, but also a certified student organization on campus.
The group’s funding comes from three sources – the Office of Housing &
Life, Student Government, and the members themselves, who each pay an annual
$100 membership fee.