Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank you!

Thank you so much for donating your time, energy, food, and funds to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion's Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week-long events!

This past week showed us just how generous Tarleton can be! From contests to donate the most food to digging in your pockets and sharing your funds, you crushed our expectations! We cannot wait to see what we can do next year and we very much value all that you did to make our first HHAW a success. 

The food donations are heading over to ComeEat this week and will be put to very good use right here in our local community. The funds we collected - hundreds of dollars of your pocket change - are heading off to the Red Cross to help those facing shelter needs from SuperStorm Sandy. 

We enjoyed your tweets, re-tweets, and digital support, too! Please continue to remember just how powerful the actions of a few people can be and continue to see what you can do right in your communities.

Our campus contest went well and the winner, Scott O., got a $50 iTunes gift card for being such an active participant and getting his card stamped at so many events. Thank you to everyone who made time, gave funds, and brought food -- we appreciate you!

Multicultural Ambassadors work the Awareness Tables all week to raise funds, collect cans, and share information
$50 iTunes winner: Scott O. and Dr. Helvie-Mason

Stacks and stacks of cans from the Library!

 We hope that you will stop by the office (TSC # 21). Also, look for us on social media. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TarletonDiversityInclusion and read along with our journeys here on the blog:
http://tarletondiversityinclusion.blogspot.com/ You can also see our images on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarletondiversity/. Or follow us on Twitter: @DiversityTSU or email us directly at Diversity@Tarleton.edu  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A night of sleeping outside

When I laid down on top of my card board box, that laid on top of dirt and rocks, I knew that once I drift off to sleep I would be very uncomfortable. As the night continued, the wind started blowing and clouds began to move faster. It was really dark, and I began to hear footsteps, which frightened me. (In the morning, we realized no one was really there.) One side of my body was engulfed in pain and as I switched sides, I discovered there was no pleasure in laying on either sides of my body. As the wind increased a table not too far away fell on top of me. By this time I was in pain, freezing, irritated, frustrated, and hungry. I was ready to go home. Falling asleep for the first time I remember telling myself I can’t wait until seven o’clock.
At seven o’clock, I got up and told my boss that I did not want to participate in the camp out next year. It was a miserable night. This was a tough experience that taught me to never take life for granted, work hard so I can keep a job, and be thankful for what I have. Being homeless is no joke, and it’s definitely a challenge.

Visit The Office of Diversity & Inclusions website for more information about our events http://www.tarleton.edu/diversity/upcomingevents.html
~ Multicultural Ambassador Terra T.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Images from our night out

We had a great learning experience as we slept out in the elements this past weekend. Our goal was to raise awareness for those who face food and shelter needs in our society-and to kick off Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week (Nov. 10-18). Thank you for all who supported us!

We will have our full album available on our flickr page, but here are a few of our favorites!

One of our Multicultural Ambassadors trying to get warm

How could you earn a meal? Things got pretty creative the hungrier we became. A special "Thank you!" to President and Mrs. Dottavio for stopping by and supporting our goal to raise awareness!

Playing Taboo to stay warm

Multicultural Ambassador, TT, after her shelter was defeated by the wind

6 a.m. the lights came on and we could see that most of our shelter and blankets were not enough to keep us warm or to allow for rest. It was a long, windy night.

Attend several events this week and get one of our HHAW t-shirts! More details at http://www.tarleton.edu/diversity/upcomingevents.html

A long restless night

About 15 minutes before the field lights went out we all scrambled to find boxes to sleep on and find tables to shelter us from the wind.  As the lights went out we all settled into our perspective places and prepared for what we would hope to be a nice restful night. I soon began to realize about  have 15 minutes into laying down that sleep was not going to be in my plans for the night. The wind was blowing straight through my blanket and the ground provided no warmth at all.  Time began to slowly go by as I tossed and turned trying desperately to find a warm and comfortable place to fall asleep, even it was only for 20 minutes. Around 3 in the morning another student who happend to be sleeping by me noticed that I was cold and offered me his blanket as well. Around 4 after being awoken by the wind we shifted and made sure that the blankets were covering both of us, that way we were both warm.  After finding a comfortable position for the both us we finally dozed off for about a good hour, then the field lights surprised all of  us by coming on at 6.  This night has definitely showed me that being homeless is no joke and that you really want to have friends on the streets because I would not have made through the night  without my friends.
~ Multicultural Ambassador SB

Digital access, reality, rest

What a night! Many of our devices faded quickly tonight and wireless access didn't reach our location. It further clarified the struggle for resources, access, and safety. Though this is a brief amount of time out, our awareness has grown  tonight. Hearing footsteps crunching beside you is not restful , it makes you jerk out of your half-sleep and wonder if all is well. We easily see the value of our friends as they watch over us. What a constant, isolated struggle it must be for those with shelter needs. It makes us think about how we need to do more for those around us. As the last phones winked off, the night seemed to  grow colder and the ground harder. Reality truly begins to settle in and we find joy where we can...the beauty of the bright stars on a clear night, the steady breathing of a friend nearby, and the welcome warmth of our blankets.

The lights go out...

The wind has gotten serious and the space around the fire barrels becomes a priority. We all scrambled to grab boxes to sleep on and to break the force of the wind. We have shared stories and conversations of privilege in our society  This experience shows us how much we take for granted ... but also how much the little things mean. Getting a pair of gloves just now was a big deal! We can easily see how a few gestures from us could help so many others!

Friday, November 9, 2012

"Hey, you cold?" one of my friends asked me. My first thought was 'No, not at all. It's only cool, windy as all get out, and we're about to sleep on pieces of cardboard in the middle of this field. This is the warmest I've ever been'. But just before the thought left my mouth, I realized something: I realized that even though I was complaining about such minor discomforts, at least I had a nice, warm apartment to go back to. At least I had plenty of food and drinks to keep me nourished, and a bed and blankets for whenever I wanted to go to sleep. A lot of people in modern America go EVERYDAY without essentials: things that we take for granted.
 Being out here with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Multicultural Ambassadors has been a wonderf ul experience. At the beginning of the night, there was tomato soup, rolls, coffee, hot chocolate, and water for anybody to have. After standing around and getting to know eachother, Dr. Mason directed us to a separate table with cardboard and paint. She told us we would be making "homeless signs". Each student painted their own unique phrase on their signs. Some said "Will work 4 food", "Need a job", "Will dance for food" and even "Broke college student needs food". This exercise made everyone think about what it would be like if our next meal- or our lives- depended on our signs.
 Although the night isn't over yet, everyone is still in high spirits. Smiling, dancing, and singing to keep warm are just a few of the things ODI and the Multicultural Ambassadors are doing to promote Hunger Homeless Awareness. I can't wait to see what the rest of the night holds.
      Multicultural Ambassador

The wind plays a role

As the night wears on, the wind picks up and it is beginning to get chilly. Thankfully, the hot soup just arrived and I am thankful that it is here. The fire barrels are finally going and we can see just how essential these resources are for people who face living without consistent shelter.
~ Multicultural Ambassador SB

Realization hits....

Just got out here to the Nigh Out event. Walking up I finally began to realize what exactly I had signed up for. There are barrels filled with wood and paper which will serve as our warmth for this evening. Other then those barrels it is an open field, where you choose to sit or rest for the night is all up to you. As of right now it is not too chilly but as the night progesses at it becomes later I will definitely find myself next to one of those fire barrels. I am hoping this will be a very eye opening experience and I will be posting as the night goes on.
I'm grateful for the Hunger & Homeless Awareness Night Out!
~ Multicultural Ambassador SB

See us on facebook: www.facebook.com/tarletondiversityinclusion
Twitter: @diversitytsu  #hhawtsu #tarletondiversity

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hunger & Homeless Night Out - Preparations

As the Office of Diversity and Inclusion prepares for the first Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, they are offering a night out experience for students, like me, to sleep outside and raise our awareness about shelter and food issues.

How am I preparing?

I am going to find my warmest clothes and try to eat something filling. Already, I am thinking about these two little choices that show I have resources beyond many others. It is a great thing to be able to pull out my winter shoes and know that I can look in my closet as I head out the door.

I am excited. I am a Multicultural Ambassador (read more about this group here: http://www.tarleton.edu/diversity/programs/multicultural-ambassadors.html) and I will be blogging throughout the Night Out event. Please consider showing your support by reading the blog, tweeting (re-tweeting), and helping to raise awareness for food and shelter needs in your neighborhoods.

Read along with my posts -- and please hope that it stays pretty warm tomorrow night!
Twitter: @DiversityTSU   #TarletonDiversity

#HHAWtsu - Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week at Tarleton!

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion would like to invite you to our upcoming events – including our feature event this month, the Hunger and Homeless Awareness Night Out! Experience a night out as we raise awareness and aid for those who face hunger and shelter needs. We will camp out the entire night in Intramural Field A this Friday. If you are interested in attending (or if you would like more information), please email diversity@tarleton.edu. This feature event kicks off our Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week and food drive.

We have many events in the upcoming weeks, including our Hunger and Homeless Awareness events and other opportunities to explore diversity on campus. As a student, if you attend several of our events during Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week (see bolded items below), you will win a Hunger & Homeless Awareness t-shirt and be entered to win a $50 iTunes gift card! Just get your HHAW card stamped at each event and get a minimum of FOUR stamps to earn a t-shirt and to be entered into our iTunes drawing! HHAW cards will be available at every event in bold.

Bring your 4 (or more) stamped completed HHAW cards to TSC 21 any time during Hunger and Homeless Awareness week to pick up your free t-shirt and to be entered into our $50 iTunes gift card drawing!

Please note the events that count toward the drawing are marked in bold. This month’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion events include:

  •  Spoken Word Poetry Open Mic: Wednesday, November 7 – 12 to 1 PM – amphitheater by Dining Hall. Share your thoughts, listen to others, and experience this dynamic, high energy poetry.
  •  Hunger & Homeless Awareness Night Out: Friday, November 9 (7 PM) to Saturday, November 10 (7 AM) – Intramural Field A. Warm clothes, blankets, and a valid Tarleton ID required. *This event will earn you TWO stamps!
  •   Week-long food drive for ComeEat (serving the Stephenville and surrounding area): Saturday, November 10 to Friday, November 16. Bring food donations to TSC 21 or at any of our events this week. *Donate food any time this week and earn ONE stamp. Note: you can only earn a donation stamp once this week.
  •   Multicultural Ambassadors Food Drive & Awareness Tailgate: Saturday, November 10 – 4 PM to 6 PM – Texan Ally. Bring food donations! *This event will earn you ONE stamp! Stop by our tent to get your card stamped!
  •   Food for Thought Reception: Monday, November 12 – 3 to 4 PM – TSC 27. Guest speaker LZ Harris of ComeEat will speak. Bring food donations! *This event will earn you ONE stamp!
  •   Hunger & Homeless Awareness Tables: Tuesday, November 13 – 11 AM to 1 PM and from 4 – 6 PM – in front of Library and outside Dining Hall. Bring food donations! Get a ribbon, learn some facts, and earn ONE stamp—you may only get “tables” stamped once this week!
  •  Diversity Luncheon Series: “Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts.” Wednesday, November 14 – 12 to 1 PM – TSC 27. Lunch provided. *This event will earn you ONE stamp!
  •  Hunger & Homeless Awareness Tables: Thursday, November 15 – 11 AM to 1 PM and from 4 – 6 PM – in front of Library and outside Dining Hall. Bring food donations! Get a ribbon, learn some facts, and earn ONE stamp!
  •  Food drive concludes: Friday, November 16. Final day to bring food donations to TSC 21.
  •  Spoken Word Poetry Open Mic: Wednesday, November 28 – 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM – amphitheater by Dining Hall

 Also, look for our Digital Diversity Campaigns as we experience Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week with tweets @DiversityTSU #TarletonDiversity and student blogger updates DURING the Night Out experience (http://tarletondiversityinclusion.blogspot.com/). Hunger and Homeless Awareness week is November 10 – 18, 2012. Find out more about our Digital Diversity initiatives at http://www.tarleton.edu/diversity/digital-diversity.html

You can follow along with our experiences with Facebook, too!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Blogging to foster an inclusive campus

We are continuing our Digital Diversity campaign. A digital diversity campaign involves spreading appreciation of members on our campus and in our surrounding community. Our weekly Twitter contests are one of our digital diversity campaigns, this blog is another. We are increasing these measures regularly, so please check in often and share your ideas!

Look for our stream tweets and student bloggers at the upcoming Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week Kickoff Night Out. The Tarleton community is invited to spend a night outside on Friday November 9 from 7 PM to Saturday, November 10 (7AM) as we have a night out to raise awareness for hunger and homelessness. 

Could you survive a night out? Experience it with us in Intramural Field A. Please communicate with us (diversity@tarleton.edu) if you would like to assist or attend. This event kicks off week-long activities like our Food Drive (for ComeEat) and other activities to raise awareness.

Please consider how you could lend your time or your resources to this worthy event. See all of the Hunger and Homeless Awareness activities on our events page

You can like us on Facebook!  http://www.facebook.com/TarletonDiversityInclusion and you can follow us on Twitter! @DiversityTSU

Would you like to be a Digital Diversity Blogger? Contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at diversity@tarleton.edu for more information.