Campus Connection, Nov. 10, 2010

The Merciad has partnered with student newspapers at Gannon University (The Gannon Knight) and Penn State Behrend (The Beacon) during the 2010-11 school year.

Our goal is to bring you the most important news happening on local college campuses each week.


Behrend hosts 24-hour dance event

Toby Keller, assistant news editor

Behrend students stayed awake for 24 straight hours this weekend, a feat that is not unusual with the excessive partying and decadence associated with college life.

What makes this accomplishment really special, however, is the fact that those who participated danced for those 24 hours, non-stop, in an effort to raise money for kids like Rylee Dorer, a nine-year-old whose pediatric cancer is in remission. 24 For A Cure was hosted by THON and raised nearly $1,500 in their 24-hour event.

The proceeds will go directly to the Four Diamonds Fund, which directly benefits those suffering from pediatric cancer, as well as their families, through things such as laboratory research, hotel rooms for families who need to stay close to their child during treatment and aid with medical bills.

Jennifer Slane, Chair Member of THON, was not the only one to see the importance of the event.

“There is no failure in THON,” Slane said. “We could have raised five dollars from this event and I still would have been happy. Of course we want to raise money, but it’s more of the action that matters. It was people coming together for 24 hours all for the same cause, for the same fight.”

The battle cry was fierce and Behrend students responded.

“We had 14 dancers for the event along with numerous moralers and security,” said Marla Whitney, who ran the dance alongside Jess Durbin said.

“We also had activities, dancing, games, sports, and themed hours throughout the whole 24 hours. Some of the themed hours that we had were ‘Toga Olympics’ and a Luau hour, where we limbo’d and listened to Jimmy Buffet. Also throughout the event, we had several organizations come and provide some sort of entertainment or relief for the dancers.”

With the clocks falling back on Sunday, it meant that many students around campus got a much needed extra hour of sleep, study-time or a chance to catch up on Sunday NFL Countdown.

Some, however, saw it as a chance to fight back against something dreadful and awful, and to raise money for those who are in desperate need. It was a cause dearest to Dorer, one that she got the best of, and those who know her story share that feeling.

“Every single minute of those 24 hours was a fight for her,” Slane said. “Every time I would see one of the dancers in pain, I would just tell them to think of Rylee and you would just see a smile on their face. If that nine-year-old girl could beat her battle with cancer, we could beat our battle with the pain.

“It was a good bonding experience for everyone involved and I am so proud of every single person who walked into Erie Hall.”


Gannon to hold its own Hunger Week

By Christine Peffer, staff writer

In an effort to promote awareness about hunger and homelessness issues at the local, state, national and international levels, Gannon University will hold its annual Hunger and Homelessness Week Nov. 15– 19.

In addition to raising awareness for these issues, the week will also be an opportunity to raise money for four local charities. These charities are Emmaus Ministry, the Martin Luther King Center, House of Healing and Community Shelter Services.

The week has been an annual event since 1992, and last year over $1,000 was raised, according to Jessie Badach, Program Coordinator for the Center for Social Concerns. Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns is the major contributor in organizing the week and making sure it runs smoothly. Badach said she hopes the week will raise even more money this year.

Students, faculty and staff will observe the week through a series of events held on campus throughout the week.

Beginning on Monday, November 15, students can begin signing up to donate a meal from their meal plans on Thursday, November 18. It is an opportunity to fast from this meal in understanding of those who suffer from hunger around the world.

For each meal that is donated, Metz will make a donation to Oxfam. Oxfam is an international relief organization that is engaged in anti-poverty initiatives across the globe. Teaming up with Oxfam will allow Gannon to enter into the global experience of hunger, according to Badach.

The second event of the week will be the Global Banquet held on Tuesday, November 16 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Yehl Ballroom. The Banquet is an opportunity for those in attendance to learn about global hunger and to hear from guest speaker and activist Diana Ames.

The main fundraising event of the week will be an event called Box City. Box City will take place Thursday, November 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on A.J.’s Way. Students who entered a group to participate in Box City will receive a box to decorate with facts about homelessness, and will spend the day sitting in their boxes and asking passersby for donations.

“Box City is about rooting yourself in the real experience of homelessness,” Badach said. “We want people to ask themselves, ‘How vulnerable does this make me feel?’”