Students at the University of Illinois Springfield will create cardboard shelters and sleep on the quad on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in an effort to educate fellow students about homelessness.
Hundreds of students are expected to take part in the Box City event, which begins at 10 a.m. as students build the structures on the central quad throughout the day. The students will return to spend the night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The cardboard build is part of the annual UIS Springfest celebration, a week-long event where students compete in a variety of fun and educational competitions.
“Homelessness is an issue that’s very prevalent right now,” said Jacob Stodgel, student co-chair of the Springfest committee. “There are a lot of homeless people in Springfield and larger cities.”
Members of the Springfield group Homeless United for Change will be speaking at the event starting at 9:30 p.m. The “Faces of the Homeless Panel” will feature individuals who are or have been homeless sharing their stories. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions.
“A lot of times we look at big issues in the world and feel we have no way to help, but this is a problem that’s happening right here and we can do something about it,” said Stodgel.
He hopes the Box City event will cause his fellow students to take action and volunteer at organizations in Springfield that help the homeless.
“We’re bringing awareness by putting students in the shoes of the homeless, if only for one night,” said Stodgel.
This is the first time the Box City event has been part of the UIS Springfest celebration. The event is being sponsored by the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center and the Student Activities Committee (SAC).
For more information, contact Blake Wood, UIS Campus Relations at 217/206-6716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.