NEWS

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May 25, 2004

News in Brief

Quads host "homeless" students

Students will sleep on the main quads on Thursday night to raise awareness for homelessness, for a program sponsored by the Giving Tree and Students Organizing Support.

"Sleep-out grew out of our answers to the following question: How can we truly understand the issues surrounding hunger and homelessness without knowing what it is to be without a home?" said organizer Caroline Buddenhagen. "Often, the most efficient and productive service workers in these fields are those who were once hungry, homeless, or refugees."

Sleep-out aims to raise awareness about displacement in three ways. Organizers say it will provide information about displacement due to homelessness and natural disaster both from those who have worked to relieve it and those who have experienced it. It will facilitate a temporary experience as a natural disaster refugee or a homeless person, providing participants with a real and personal sense of displacement. Finally, by occupying public space, it will create a visual impact on the University campus.

Sleep-out also has the goal of raising money for homelessness and natural disaster relief. "We are encouraging participants to ask friends and family to sponsor their night on the quads," Buddenhagen said, adding that the groups also raised money selling Krispy Kreme donuts in the Reynolds Club.

Sleep-out will include the construction of a temporary site on the quads, a dinner, three speakers, a video, and discussion. "It is our hope that to gain an understanding of what it means to be homeless is to take an active step in alleviating it," Buddenhagen said.

For more information, contact Buddenhagen at crb@uchicago.edu.