SALT LAKE CITY — They may be accustomed to sitting behind a desk or standing in front of a classroom, but once they decided to get dirty the faculty and staff at Broadview University's Salt Lake Campus showed they have skills at removing sod and tangled weeds when they answered the call of South Salt Lake to beautify the community.

“We serve the community because we are in the community,” said Campus Director Scott Kloetzke of the university's May 21 service project.

Broadview employees quickly broke out the wheelbarrows and shovels and got to work on Burton Place neighborhood in South Salt Lake.

“Nowhere in my job description does it say I need to be able to lift more than 50 pounds,” joked Heather Anderson, financial aid director.

South Salt Lake launched its program to improve parts of the city earlier this year.

“We have a new urban livability department that is focused on neighborhoods for volunteer projects, for homeowners who need some repairs on their home and we help them bring them up to code for a safe more cleaner beautiful neighborhood,” said Sharen Hauri, chair of South Salt Lake City Open Space Lands Advisory Board.

“Broadview University believes service learning is community service with an element of learning," Kloetzke said. "Those receiving the service gain valuable volunteer efforts while those performing the service gain hands-on experience, concrete examples of abstract concepts presented in class and a deeper understanding of societal issues. Through service learning you can grow as a student, as a professional and as a person.”

Every major taught at the university requires each student to take 2-3 classes with service learning as an integral part of the class, but the faculty and staff are practicing what they preach to their students when it comes to service.

“In tough economic times it’s important to give back to the community,” said Melissa Walker, admissions representative.

Kristi Grooms works in the financial aid department at Broadview University and has bachelor's of science degree in architectural studies from the University of Utah. She has been writing for the Deseret News since high school.