Sleep Out on the Quad to raise awareness for homelessness

Aurora University students set up their tent during last year’s Sleep Out on the Quad event.

Aurora University students set up their tent during last year’s Sleep Out on the Quad event.

On Friday, October 26, Aurora University students and employees will participate in the second annual Sleep Out on the Quad to raise awareness for homelessness. While some will bring tents and others will set up cardboard boxes, it is expected that nearly 200 members of the AU community will sleep out under the stars.

“Participants can expect to have an engaging evening full of eye-opening experiences,” said Kris Johnson, Director of Student Leadership. “Through educational and experiential activities, students, faculty and staff will be asked to step out of their comfort zone and eventually gain a greater sense of social responsibility. They can expect to gain knowledge about issues and choices that may lead to homelessness. This will include presentations from people who have been homeless. The overarching goal is to drive home the fact that we are all a part of humanity and this world can become a better place because of our actions.”

The evening will start with small group discussions and continue with educational sessions, a guest speaker and a human rights presentation. The event will end with a group reflection on Saturday morning.

“During last year’s event, I learned that it’s the little things that matter,” said Cody Fuerst, a junior psychology major who is also a student organizer for the event. “While those of us who participate may not be homeless, by sleeping outside, we show that we care. It leaves us with a small taste of what homeless people go through.”

The donation of hygiene products is being encouraged during this year’s event to benefit the Hesed House in Aurora, a shelter that is on a mission to feed the hungry, provide clothing to those in need, shelter the homeless and give people the chance to hope again. Requested products include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and deodorant. All participants have been asked to bring five products and donations will be accepted at the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action (430 S. Evanslawn Ave.) during check-in. People not participating in the event, may drop off hygiene products at the Crouse Center on the third floor of Eckhart Hall.

If you are interested in participating in Sleep Out on the Quad, please send an email to Kris Johnson at kjohnson@aurora.edu with your name and emergency phone number.

Full Schedule of Events:
5:00-6:00 p.m. – Check-in at the Wackerlin Center
6:00-6:15  p.m. – Group Photo at the Wackerlin Center
6:15-6:45 p.m. – Small Group Discussions at the Wackerlin Center
7:00-8:00 p.m. – Guest Speaker in UBH
8:15-11:00 p.m. – Rotating Activity/Education Sessions
11:00 – 11:30 p.m. – Human Rights Presentation
11:30 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. – Sleep Out on the Quad
You are responsible for your own sleeping accommodations (i.e., tent, cardboard box or under the stars!)
5:00-5:30 a.m. Group Reflection
5:30-6:00 a.m. Clean up

Sleep Out on the Quad is sponsored by:
Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action
The LEAD program
Aurora University’s Human Rights Organization (AUHRO)
American Marketing Association (AMA)
Social Work Association (SWA)