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Morrisville State College students reach out, participate in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Architectural students, volunteers to sleep out in hand-made shelters to raise awareness
MORRISVILLE, NY—Morrisville State College students are reaching out to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness. Some will gain a sense of what it feels like to be homeless when they sleep out overnight in handmade shelters while others will spearhead a campus-wide brigade to collect items for the needy.

Their effort is just part of what faculty, staff and students on the Morrisville State College campus are doing to raise education, action and awareness about hunger and homelessness during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 14-20.

Morrisville State College is among churches, schools, and service agencies partnering to address the issue in Madison County, collaborating with the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Madison County. The campus will be hosting food drives and other associated activities, including a hygiene drive challenge.

The hygiene drive challenge is a competition between residence halls Nov. 7-18 to see who can collect the most hygiene items. Last year, nearly 2,000 items were collected and given to CAP. “This will help stock some of the county’s food pantries with much desired self-care items,” said Jodee Osborne, of CAP, who will be sleeping out again this year in a handmade shelter alongside Morrisville students.

Nutrition and dietetic seniors are also involved in campus-wide efforts, decorating boxes for collections in addition to working on a project with food pantries for CAP.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is held every year to raise awareness that hunger and homelessness are community problems which can be addressed through activities that foster greater community solidarity and understanding.

Morrisville State College students have a history of supporting the plight.

Once again, students in associate professor Anne Englot’s Architectural Design I class, will be sleeping out in cardboard and makeshift shelters on Nov. 15. Set up will begin at 2 p.m. near Hamilton Hall. The sleep out begins at 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning.

New this year, each student was also assigned a particular issue in relation to homelessness (unemployment, lack of affordable housing, deinstitutionalization, hurricanes, tsunamis, domestic violence, veterans, alcoholism and drug abuse).
In preparation, Englot’s students have been researching rural homelessness and will design individual makeshift shelters on a shoestring budget. Innovativeness, like using donated and recycled materials, scraps and castoffs will be an important consideration in their design.

The task comes with rules and guidelines—shelters must be habitable, portable, resistant to moisture and cold, provide light and ventilation to the interior, and must be aesthetically pleasing. Students’ experiences will be documented in an hourly journal they are required to keep.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.