Campbell students sleep in 'Cardboard City'
April 11 2003 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Campbell students sleep in 'Cardboard City' | Friday, April 11, 2003

Friday, April 11, 2003

Campbell students sleep in 'Cardboard City'

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

BUIES CREEK - Some Campbell University students voluntarily got a taste of homelessness April 4.

Campbell's Social Work Club sponsored a "Cardboard City" to heighten awareness about homelessness. About 20 students and Debra Brown, the club's faculty advisor, slept in cardboard boxes near the fountain on Campbell's campus.

Brown said she thinks the students had "an eye opener" to some of the experiences of homeless people.

Brown said the event became realistic for her when she woke up at 5:30 a.m. on April 5. She went to a nearby dorm that was supposed to be open so a bathroom would be available.

The dorm was locked.

After Brown tried several buildings, she got in her car to go find an open fast food restaurant. Then she remembered that she could get a campus security officer to open a dorm.

"You better believe we had some idea of what it must be like" to be homeless, she said. "You know, I had walked for some time with my body filled with water.

"That was some experience for me. It made it even more realistic for me."

The students raised at least $50 and some food for the Beacon Rescue Mission in Dunn, Brown said.

Campbell students Keyonna Chance, left, and April Lancaster prepare to spend the night in cardboard boxes.
April Lancaster, a junior from Hope Mills, said she had a difficult time getting comfortable enough to go to sleep. The streetlights shining through her cardboard box also bothered her.

"It wasn't my bed, so it was kinda weird," she said.

Lancaster said the television on which the students watched movies about homelessness made the event a little less realistic.

"I really enjoyed it," she said. "The only problem was we had the necessities that homeless people don't have."

Sarah Hipps, a senior from Wilmington, was president of the club last year. She said she had read about similar events when she was in high school and thought it would be a good way to get people to think about homeless people.

Only three students participated last year. She said she was thrilled that six times that number took part this year.

"It was really exciting to see something I had thought of carried through," she said. "It was inspiring to see them all out there."

Current club president Jennifer Thomas planned this year's event, Hipps said.

"Last year's Cardboard City was held when the temperature got down to 32 degrees," Hipps said. "This year was much warmer.

"It made it a little bit unrealistic because we knew we had homes to go to and after we slept out there we could go home to food and a shower," she said. "The homeless don't have that. It's not just a one-night event for them."

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4/11/2003 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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