Students plan to knock down social barriers


Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 11:45 p.m.
Some campus-dwellers plan to knock down a wall of stereotypes - literally.
Last week, students at the University of Florida painted slurs of all kinds about blacks, Hispanics, geeks, vegetarians and preppies, for example, on cinder blocks in preparation for a grand finale on Friday.
After a wall is constructed on the Plaza of the Americas with the blocks, it'll be knocked down.
The exercise of breaking through the barriers is organized by the Inter-Residence Hall Association.
  • Pencils for a good cause: Across the nation, schoolchildren are chipping in for tsunami relief.
    Among Alachua County schools, the effort to aid the victims of the South Asian tsunami is happening in small bits and bites.
    At Hidden Oak Elementary, third-grade students have decorated pencils to sell this week as part of a class project, said Sarah Freedman, third-grade teacher at Hidden Oak.
    The pencils on sale include ones decorated with feathers, pompoms and big eyes, Freedman said.
    Calling them "fancy pencils," the students are selling 500 pencils for 50 cents each, she said.
    Teachers hope the students will sell all the pencils and donate the $250 to the American Red Cross to benefit the tsunami relief effort.
    "With current events, it's something that all teachers have been talking about with their class," Freedman said. "So they know what the money going for."
  • Reno visit: Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno is dropping in on some law students at the University of Florida next month to talk about upholding civil liberties, equality and access to justice.
    The first female attorney general was invited by the UF Chapter of the American Constitution Society, a law group whose mission is akin to the American Civil Liberties Union.
    Reno, who makes her home in the Miami area, served President Bill Clinton from 1993 until 2001.
    The Feb. 24 speech is free and open to the public. It is scheduled to be held in room 180A at the law school at 10 a.m.
  • Online UF degree: No need to bus in for classes at the University of Florida.
    Some high school teachers and county extension agents now can receive a master of science degree online.
    UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences launched the 2-year program this month to give high school teachers, perhaps living in small rural areas, a way to earn advanced degrees online.
    "Teachers and extension agents need graduate degrees for career advancement, but many of them live too far from a university to attend regular classes," said Brian Myers, an assistant professor of agricultural education at IFAS and coordinator of the online program. "This distance learning program will allow them to keep their jobs and stay close to home."
    For more information, contact Myers at (352) 392-0502, ext. 236.
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