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The Blue & Gray Press | September 25, 2017

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Concerts, Bonfires Highlight A Full Week of School Spirit

Marie Sicola/Bullet

BY GRACE WEAVER AND WILL LYNCH

This week is all about Mary Washington school spirit. The Student Government Association is sponsoring “Beak Week,” with events to boost school spirit, involve the community and encourage students to give to charities.

Also this week, UMW Community Outreach And Resources (COAR) center is hosting its Act! Speak! Build! Week celebration on campus.
The two organizations are co-hosting some of the events, like the drive-in movie and the Thursday barbecue.

SGA spirit week, while it has been done in the past, is in full swing this year. The SGA hopes to cement it as an important Mary Washington tradition.

SGA president Ashley Nixon compared the week to “homecoming, minus the sports element.”

Beak Week events included an outdoor concert and barbecue on Monday, a drive-in movie on Tuesday night and “Drench the Bench” yesterday afternoon at Ball Circle.

Tonight, spirit week continues with a bonfire and barbecue at Jefferson Square and a fundraiser at Chick-Fil-A. The Beak Week finale is tomorrow night, with a barbecue, fireworks and a concert by rock band Ohio Avenue at the Rugby Fields.

“The concerts sound fun,” senior Brooke Davies said. “I think it’s going to be a really great week.”

Additionally, there will be a “coin war” to raise awareness about Haiti and to raise money to build a well to provide fresh water for earthquake victims. The current goal is to raise $1,000. Throughout the week, SGA representatives will be collecting money at the Nest from 11-2 p.m. SGA will also accept donations at all events.

Sophomore Alex Olah plans on donating.
“I’ll definitely give money to that cause,” Olah said. “I think it’s great that Mary Washington is doing something to help Haiti.”

Act, Speak, Build Week
This week UMW COAR is hosting its Act! Speak! Build! Week celebration on campus. COAR is the community service part of the Office of Student Affairs and Community Service (OSACS).

“If you don’t know about it you can’t change it,” Christina Eggenberger, COAR advisor and work association director, said. “Students need to know more about the effects of poverty and to the extent it exists, especially in the United States.”

Act! Speak! Build! Week is just one of the many events that COAR hosts during the year in addition to their work in the community promoting awareness of poverty and homelessness in the community.  It is a national celebration in which various colleges and student chapters of Habitat for Humanity participate.

“Act! Speak! Build! Week is a week dedicated to students taking action to promote homelessness and poverty awareness,” senior Brad Efford, COAR staff member, said.  “It’s a national week of advocacy that COAR takes part in each year, sponsoring or co-sponsoring an event each day, and culminating in an on-campus Habitat for Humanity build and barbecue.”

The events kicked off Monday with bonus trivia questions in the Underground, with special prizes awarded to people who answered correctly.

“The trivia rounds were a small event of our Act! Speak! Build! week in collaboration with the Underground to raise awareness about homelessness and poverty,” Efford said during the first round.

One round of trivia consisted of questions about poverty in the United States and another round of trivia focused on global poverty.
Tuesday’s event was a screening of “Kicking It” on Ball Circle, which is a documentary on teams of homeless people around the world competing to qualify for the Homeless World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa.

“I think COAR ‘s Act! Speak! Build! Week is a really good thing for raising awareness,” sophomore Andrew Dickerson said at the screening on Tuesday night.

Wednesday’s event was a Hunger Banquet co-sponsored by COAR, the Justice Team and STAND, a student anti-genocide group. It was a meeting to discuss and learn about the economics of poverty and homelessness over a shared meal.

The Barbecue Build on Thursday is the largest event of the celebration. COAR and the UMW Habitat for Humanity chapter co-sponsor the event. It includes grilling hot dogs and hamburgers while building for Habitat for Humanity.

This year, COAR and Habitat for Humanity will build picnic tables to be sold at the Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity furniture re-sale store to raise money.

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