Title - 0 37855

Susquehanna Students Rally to Raise Funds for Japan

Published on April 8, 2011

Junko Torii at a panel discussion on JapanSELINSGROVE— Susquehanna University students are organizing a number of fundraising events to aid relief efforts in the aftermath of Japan’s deadly earthquake and tsunami.

On March 18, the SU Belly Dance Circle raised money for the Red Cross with a “Jingles for Japan” event. Spectators donated money for the privilege of requesting a song to which the dancers performed or to learn belly-dance moves.

“The event was a huge success,” said senior Kristen Cuccaro, the group’s acting captain. “We had one day [that was] over 70 degrees, and we got a lot of foot traffic, because everyone wanted to be outside. All in all, it was one of the highlights of my semester as acting captain.”

On April 3, members of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity waged a Battle of the Bands on the patio of the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center. Audience members donated a minimum of 50 cents just for listening, and then voted for their favorite among nine contenders by depositing money in the performers’ respective jars.

“Japan needs our help now, and it is important that we help them in any way possible,” said sophomore organizer Amanda Vivacqua. “Even something as simple as donating, or spreading the word of what has happened, can make a difference. The Battle of the Bands did both of those things in a way that was effective and fun for SU students.”

More fundraisers and related events are upcoming.

On April 12, students can sample the flavors of Japan in Evert Dining Room, where foods representing the region will be served for dinner. Afterward, at 7 p.m., Susquehanna faculty and staff will offer a panel discussion on Japan in Meeting Room 3 of the Degenstein Campus Center. Panelists will include Lisong Liu, assistant professor of history; Jennifer Elick, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences; Toshiro Kubota, associate professor of mathematical sciences; Jack Holt, professor of biology, who will discuss effects of nuclear radiation; and Junko Torii, of the Susquehanna Valley Japanese Community. The group will explore the science behind tsunamis, the culture of Japan, disaster communication issues and accounts of life in the affected regions.

On April 15, SU College Democrats will sponsor a “dance-a-thon” from 4 to 8 p.m. on the lawn of the Degenstein Campus Center. Contestants will pay an entry fee of $5, with some being sponsored by student organizations. “Dance-offs” every hour will result in prizes, and the last person still dancing when the event ends will win a trophy.

The activities to assist with relief in Japan are just one manifestation of Susquehanna’s commitment to service as an integral part of education, believing that engaged students grow as active, informed citizens of their communities and of the world. Susquehanna has a sustained, mutually rewarding relationship with Japan, evident in such initiatives as the University of Senshu exchange-student program, which brings students to Selinsgrove from this private university in Chiyoda, and a Global Opportunities (GO) trip that combines a 10-day chamber music residency alongside Japanese students at Niigata University with travel throughout the country.

“Cleaning up after the [Battle of the Bands] that day, I'd have to say that I felt truly blessed to be a part of this campus and to be surrounded by gifted and caring people on a day-to-day basis,” Vivacqua said.

Senior Becky Jones, president of SU College Democrats and dance-a-thon organizer, agreed. “It is always important to be aware of global events, whether they're disasters or joyous. When those events result in the devastation of millions of lives, we as global citizens all need to be willing to come together in support of those affected.”

Karen M. Jones


Bookmark and Share