Class raises funds for Japan: Student-directed course focuses efforts on disaster relief

Posted by Jean-Ann Kubler

On April 20, the honors forum class "Citizen Studentship" began selling T-shirts in Case Center to raise money for relief efforts in Japan.

Shirts cost $12, and all proceeds will be donated to Youth for 3.11, a student-run organization that was formed in Japan immediately after the disastrous 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11.

"Citizen Studentship" is a course designed completely by the students who enroll.

According to the description in the college's master schedule, "The course gives students the chance to break down traditional educational structures of authority, thus offering an alternative method of education that emphasizes participation and responsibility as a member of the academic community."

Economics professor Roy Rotheim facilitates the class.

Students in the class say they decided to focus their studies on relief efforts in Japan because it was a cause everyone was passionate about.

The class decided to donate to Youth for 3.11 because it is a student-run organization and the class members are confident that the money they raise will be used productively, students said.

"[The organization is] actually on the ground, at the site, working with relief efforts there. They know what Japan needs and how to use the money to help," said Sarah Roscher '12, a student in the class.

The class received $1,000 from SGA to buy 160 T-Shirts, and the Honors Forum helped pay for expedited shipping. Kaorina Kuok ‘11, who is not in the class, designed the shirts.

The students set up a table on the second floor of Case Center and began selling shirts at 9 a.m. By 2 p.m. the same day, the students had already sold about 30 shirts.

"It's been really great so far," said Roscher, "People have even come up and asked if they could just donate money and not take a shirt."

The class will continue to sell shirts while supplies last.

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