Assumption Students Reach Out During Hunger and Homelessness Week
By Margaux Finan '13
Assumption College’s Reach Out Center (ROC) hosted the College’s 3rd annual Homelessness and Hunger Week from Nov. 14-18. Assumption’s events corresponded with the National Awareness Week sponsored by the National Coalition to End Homelessness.
“Hunger and Homelessness Week is an important effort at Assumption, because it raises awareness of a population which much too often goes ignored or forgotten,” said senior Meredith Deacon, an ROC Committee member. “I hope that, by participating, students are now able to see the issue more clearly and can recognize their own ability to act.”
On Nov. 14, the ROC and the Campus Activities Board co-sponsored a screening of “Pursuit of Happyness,” a film about one man’s experience with homelessness. After the screening, students talked about how homelessness affects the Worcester community. On Nov. 16, 33 students took part in a “Sleep Out Simulation,” an all-night event in which students were asked to spend the evening in solidarity with the world’s homeless by sleeping outside, on campus. They also took part in activities that explored both privilege and poverty, held a discussion about homelessness, and observed a reflection period. Out of the 33 who participated in the evening’s events, approximately 25 students actually slept outside. They were allowed to bring only “whatever they could carry” and slept on donated cardboard boxes. Due to that night’s inclement weather, the students slept under the overflow garage on campus.
In addition, a Veteran’s Day/Thanksgiving food, clothing and toiletries drive was held Nov. 9-18 for the Massachusetts Veterans Shelter and for St. Paul’s Pantry in Worcester. Assumption community members participated in the drive; more than 800 pounds of food were collected and dropped off at the pantry.