Event to Increase Campus Unity
Issue   |   Wed, 02/29/2012 - 01:40

The Campus Challenge Committee will be holding an “Everybody has a Story” week beginning March 5 and ending March 9. This week is part of the committee’s efforts to strengthen campus social cohesion and unity across various dimensions of values and beliefs.

During that week, tables will be reserved in Valentine Hall’s mezzanine during lunch for faculty, staff and students to join in groups of three and delve into to the individual stories each of them have to share. Mainly unmoderated, each speaker will speak undisrupted by the other two listeners for 10 minutes, with a one-minute warning near the end of each. There are questions for discussion available on the Campus Challenge website.

Although questions will be provided to the participants, it is completely up to the participant to decide which of those questions to answer. They will not be forced to provide any information that they do not want to.

There are three ways in which the College community can participate in this week. People can sign up online or in the dining hall’s atrium during lunch from Feb. 29 to March 2. The people that sign up this way will be put into a randomly assigned group, which will be designed to include one faculty member, one staff member and one student. Three people can also come on their own, arrange their own group, and share their stories.

A third way in which students can participate is by donating money to “reach [the] Campus Challenge goal of raising $10,000 for the Amherst Survival Center.” The Campus Challenge Committee set this goal when they first applied to the President’s program. A box will be available for those people that will not be participating in the discussion but still want to help further the committee’s goal.

The College has been one of some 300 campuses participating in President Barack Obama’s “Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge: Advancing Interfaith Cooperation and Community Service in Higher Education” since the program was started last summer. The program was started by the President as a way to emphasize interfaith cooperation and community service, or “interfaith service.”

Other goals that the College committed to as part of the program are: collecting 10 tons of food for the Amherst Survival Center, getting 75 percent of the College community to be involved in the Campus Challenge and involving at least 25 percent of faculty, staff and students in any form of interfaith engagement.