Event raises awareness of homelessness


Students will have the opportunity this weekend to experience for themselves what it’s like to be homeless.

The Progressive Student Roundtable (PSRT) is hosting the second year of Hidden City, a cardboard house building contest, starting on Oct. 1 in the Academic Mall.

“This event is to help the homeless and to help people be aware. We can’t just throw money at the problem and expect it to get better, we must understand the problem first,” said Zoe Davison, PSRT chair person.

The cardboard houses are being built to show what it’s like being homeless. In order for this to be more realistic, two people must sleep overnight in the cardboard house they built. Student organizations, groups of friends and residence halls are encouraged to participate.

“We hope that people will walk away [from Hidden City] with a greater understanding of what it’s like to be homeless,” Davison said.

At 8 p.m., to give participants a break from building, students, including those who are not building, are welcome to attend the outdoor movie showing of “Pursuit of Happyness,” in the academic mall. Davison and the rest of PSRT hope for a lot of student involvement, “but we are not discouraging community contribution. If someone wants to come to just donate, they should.”

Participants can use tape, cloth or rope to facilitate building. Teams are welcome to get artistic and be as creative as they want, without using bricks, wood, stones or tarps.

Groups must pay a $10 entrance fee or donate 10 canned food items to participate. Davison said they are hoping to donate at least $400 and 400 cans to organizations that assist the homeless in the community.

The following morning, winners for two separate categories will be announced: those who are voted to have the best house design and those who donate the most cans or money. The winning teams will be given recognition by having a trophy on display in the LRC for the month of October.

Michael Carroll, a sophomore Resident Advisor in Halverson Hall and undeclared major, is preparing a team of students to compete in Hidden City.

“Hidden City is a great way to meet students with the same motives of helping others as well as a great opportunity to learn good team work skills,” Carroll said.