Homelessness awareness raised, despite setbacks

RHA held its first ever homelessness awareness program on Friday, Sept. 25. Despite three weeks of advertisement and numerous attempts on social media to recruit people into attending the event, very few people took part in the program.

Lydia Sadow, the Multicultural and Diversity Chair for RHA, hosted the event. Before the RHA meeting Thursday, she was hoping for about 50 people to attend the event. However, when the event happened, very few students showed up. At a point, Sadow was concerned if the program would even happen or not.

“Some of the E-Board was talking about how they did programs like this in high school, and it inspired me to host something similar on our campus,” Sadow said, “[Canceling the program] is something I have to ask my boss.”

Despite very low attendance, the program continued, opening with a 60 Minutes clip about homelessness in America.

Richard Seeger, freshman Hamlin resident, heard about the program via the flyers around campus. He came to the program ready with a bag of the things he would need. He said the event sounded interesting and important for students to engage in.

After the clip, students took bins of card board outside, and began constructing their cardboard homes to live in for the night. Some students simply taped a few boxes together and slept in them, while some went a bit more complex, building intricately constructed creations.

OUPD stopped by as well, and despite the night having a disappointing start, the people in attendance were lively and enthusiastic about their cause. OUPD officers put stickers on the boxes and even helped students with some parts of their cardboard homes.  

However, around 1:30 am, disaster struck. The sprinklers at the bottom of the Oak View hill turned on, putting a damper on the night.

Despite the setback, it was considered to be a realistic experience for students. Even though they had the opportunities to return to their warm beds in their dorms, millions of homeless Americans don’t have that opportunity.

Sadow said that despite the obstacles, she hopes that this program will be something that future Multicultural and Diversity chairs will continue on with.

More information about RHA and other programs they host can be found at the Oakland.edu website, or from their weekly meetings held at 7pm in the OVH lounge.