Students go without a roof for a night

Students go without a roof for a night

Students set up sleeping bags on the quad Mar. 28 for the sleep out. The sleep out was organized to raise awareness for homelessness in Alabama.

Ashanka Kumari

From 8 p.m. last night to 6 a.m. this morning, students took part in Sleep Out on the Quad, an event that was intended to promote awareness of homelessness in both Alabama and across the nation.

Hosted by the UA Community Service Center, the event took place on the Quad in front of Lloyd Hall.

Robert Scholl, a sophomore math major, said he came to the event because he felt students needed to experience something like this to get a taste of what homelessness is like.

“I think campus is isolated from the rest of the world, and I think this helped make people realize that there are people right outside campus that don’t have it nearly as well as we do,” Scholl said. “You aren’t going to be able to live under your parent’s money forever. Homelessness and poverty are big issues.”

Some students, such as Beth Barnes, a secondary education social science major, were drawn to the event because of their love for TOMS shoes.

“The TOMS Walk Without Shoes at Midnight, as well as the documentary we are seeing tonight, really interested me because I am a big advocate for TOMS shoes and what they are trying to do,” Barnes said.

Many students came to the event to fulfill volunteer hours or other community service work.

Sebastian Pasara, a junior criminal justice major, said he came because he had never done anything like this before and it was a good way for him to earn 10 service hours for Alpha Epsilon Delta.

“I’ve slept outside before, so that isn’t really the challenge here, but I think homelessness is something you don’t hear about enough, and this was a good way to see it firsthand,” Pasara said.

Freshman Chandler Moore said she believes sleeping through the night on the Quad may be her biggest challenge in doing this event.

“The fact that I didn’t bring a sleeping bag and brought a towel may be difficult, but in reality, homeless people wouldn’t really have a sleeping bag,” Moore said.

Charlotte Brown, director of hunger and homelessness awareness at the Community Service Center, said the biggest challenge is keeping strong numbers until the morning.

“This is a larger turnout than in the past. We had close to 200 people register online on SLPro,” Brown said. “We hope that UA students will come away from this event with a greater awareness and feel compelled to serve those that need help in the community. In one night, they will have experienced something similar to what it’s like for some people every night.”