Charity is emphasized during WinterFest week

More than 30 UCSD clubs and organizations will set up booths and tables on Library Walk this week when they participate in the Associated Students WinterFest 2002 UCSD Cares campaign.

Lyon Liew

The idea for the weeklong charity drive was originally conceived by the A.S. Council, which wished to expand the philanthropic nature of WinterFest.

“”We have wanted to expand [the charity aspect of WinterFest] for a while,”” said Brandon Freeman, A.S. festivals co-coordinator. “”We wanted to make it more community-based.””

In years past, students donated a can of food as admission to the concert. This year, that policy has been replaced with the weeklong charity drive on Library Walk.

Lyon Liew

Emily Marx, a Student Organization and Leadership Opportunities adviser and coordinater of community service efforts, said that the UCSD Cares campaign was a student-initiated event.

“”This year, the students wanted a weeklong campaign to benefit local charities,”” Marx said. “”We have been working with the students for a few months to get this event together.””

The theme of the campaign is “”Pick your cause! Choose your charity!”” and incorporates the diverse range of philanthropic causes supported by numerous organizations.

On Library Walk, students can participate in any number of charity booths sponsored by different organizations on campus. While each organization ultimately chose its own charity to work for, they all worked with the S.O.L.O. office to find one that was right for them, according to Marx.

One common theme throughout the charities represented is that they are all local. That was done intentionally, according to Freeman.

“”With the recent events in New York and Washington, D.C., a lot of local charities were hurt by people giving their usual donations to larger charities such as the Red Cross,”” Freeman said. “”We wanted to help out the smaller charities with this event. We have booths for just about everything you could think of.””

While the event runs through Friday, Freeman, who worked with fellow A.S. Festival Co-Coordinator Mike Hayes in organizing the event, is already pleased with the response that the UCSD Cares campaign has received.

“”I am very, very impressed with the success so far,”” Freeman said. “”We are really happy with the way that things are going so far.””

Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed professional business fraternity, was one of the organizations present. It encouraged passing students to create a bookmark, which it will donate along with school supplies, to its philanthropy.

Joelle Abbott, a promoter of Partners at Learning and Future Educators of America, encouraged students perusing the tables on Library Walk to learn more about its unique sponsoring program. Through this program, high-school students from under-represented high schools in San Diego would accompany a UCSD student through his or her typical day, attend classes and walk the campus.

In addition to the organizations with tables on Library Walk, the colleges are also representing UCSD students in the general effort to collect canned food, clothing, books, blankets and funds for many local charities.

The Warren College Service Club is engaging Warren resident hall and apartment residence advisers to rally student participation and support in its efforts to raise canned food goods. The WCSC is sponsoring a canned-food drive and has placed Warren dorm and apartment dwellers in competition with each other to raise the greatest number of cans.

Warren Black Hall Resident Adviser Mike Ficken is tempting his residents with the prospect of a WCSC-sponsored pizza party for the floor of Black Hall that collects the most canned goods.

“”I got [my residents] excited because we have the greatest shot of winning,”” Ficken said. “”I have the most apartments in the entire Black Hall and so we should win the pizza party.””

The UCSD Cares campaign is something that the A.S. Council would like to continue in the future, according to A.S. Programmer Eisha Christian.

“”When I came into office, there were some people that wanted to get rid of WinterFest,”” Christian said. “”I thought that WinterFest was a good charity event and something that we really needed to work out and expand. I hope that whoever takes over next year will carry on [the UCSD Cares campaign]. I think that to get rid of it would be a pity.””

The campaign will continue through Friday with booths on Library Walk.

The WinterFest concert, to be held at RIMAC Arena on Feb. 22, will feature artists Jason Mraz, Fenix TX and City High. It is the climax of the week’s efforts to contribute to UCSD and the greater community.