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(May 1, Lakewood, N.J.) —  When Covenant House President Kevin Ryan visited Georgian Court last year and spoke about the myriad problems associated with teen homelessness, GCU students did more than just listen.

They decided to sleep outdoors for a night as a show of support for the 2 million young people in the U.S. and Canada who run away or are kicked out of their homes each year and ultimately end up homeless and hungry.

“On Friday, May 2, Georgian Court students will be supplied with a cardboard box to sleep on overnight on the Great Lawn,” said David Schenck, a 19-year-old biology major from Manchester. “They are allowed to bring a blanket, but no pillow, as we really are trying to emphasize what it is truly like to be homeless.”

The effort is one of many affiliated with Covenant House, the largest provider of services to homeless and trafficked youth throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Also called a “solidarity sleep out,” the activity is intended to underscore the plight of homeless teens and their daily struggle for basic human rights.

The event, which will include only GCU students, begins with a 7 p.m. talk by Covenant House Ambassador Jennifer Williams of South Jersey. A candlelight vigil will be led by GCU Campus Ministry Director Jeff Schaeffer, followed by poetry readings and group discussions in the North Dining Room.

The evening concludes with GCU students sleeping on the Great Lawn. Participants are asking for donors to contribute resources—from money to toiletries to clothing—to help homeless teens.

“Every little bit helps, and even raising awareness will help this issue get the attention it deserves,” said David.

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GCU Dancers Shine at American Dance College Festival

March 16, 2014 — Georgian Court University dance majors recently performed Regions of Light, an original work by GCU Artist-in-Residence Caitlin Quinn Pittenger, during the American College Dance Festival northeast regional conference at The College of Brockport.

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During the March 14-16 event, GCU students competed against and took classes with dancers from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Fairleigh Dickinson University and more than 30 other schools.

“This is the one place where the best college dance programs come together each year,” said Silvana Cardell, director of the Georgian Court University dance program. “It is an incredible honor for our dancers to showcase not only their own talent, but also the choreography of Caitlin Quinn Pittenger. This is one of many examples where GCU dance faculty link academic instruction and studio preparation to real world experience and exposure.”

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‘We Remember’

By Meloney Lane ’13
GCU Student Voices

September 11, 2001, was a day that changed America forever. It started out as a beautiful Tuesday morning, with thousands of people going about their normal work day. But the beautiful cloudless morning would turn out to be anything but beautiful. At 8:46 a.m. Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Many people thought it was an unfortunate accident. At 9:03 a.m. the nation watched as another plane, Flight 175, crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. As many Americans watched the events taking place in New York City in horror, another plane Flight 93 was being hijacked. At 9:37 a.m., Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon.

Twenty minutes later the passengers on Flight 93 started to fight back against the hijackers.  At 9:59 a.m. the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed and just four minutes later, Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Penn., the plane never making it to its intended target because of the brave passengers that fought back against the terrorists. At 10:10 a.m. the west side of the Pentagon collapsed and 10:28 a.m. the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Every year on the anniversary of September 11, many Americans stop and remember the 3,000 people that lost their lives on that tragic day. Now, 10 years later, as the world stopped to remember September 11, the students, staff, and faculty of Georgian Court University took a moment to reflect on the events and remember the victims that were affected on that tragic day.

A group of about 40 people came together at a candlelight vigil at the Peace Pole on September 12, 2011. The ceremony began with everyone in attendance receiving a thin white candle. Only one candle was lit with a lighter, then the others were lit by everyone sharing the flame.

The people that were in attendance stood in a horseshoe shape around the Peace Pole, while the three speakers of the group stood in the center.

The ceremony started at 7:30 p.m. and the first speaker of the group was Samantha Arias.

“We are here tonight to honor and remember those who lost their lives on 9/11,” she said.

Jennifer, the Secretary of the Student Government Association and the President of the Poetry Club, gave an inspiring speech which detailed the events, victims, and families that were affected by that day.  After all the speakers were finished, the group was then asked to bow their heads to pray and have a moment of silence for those who were lost. While everyone was praying and remembering the events of September 11, one of the speakers told the group to blow out their candles when they are done remembering. Some people in the group blew out their candles a few moments after they were told to blow them out, others waited for a few minutes before blowing out their candles. The speakers then gathered up all of the candles and the group went their separate ways.

The events of September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten. Although 10 years have passed, September 11 makes many Americans stop and remember. Some remember the events, the innocent victims who lost their lives just going about their normal day, or some stop to reflect on where they were. Perhaps it is a combination of everything.

Like the thousands of Americans who remembered where they were on September 11, so did the speakers of the candlelight vigil.,

“I was in Georgia, Ms. Jones, 5th grade…I didn’t know that the country was attacked and didn’t realize how important the Twin Towers were to America,” said Jennifer.

Shinade Ramirez, Vice President of GCU’s Student Government Association, also recalled where she was on that day.

“I was in school, 5th grade music class,” Ramirez said. She also went on to say that her music teacher’s wife was in Tower Two and he was panicked.  “My father was delivering and was about to walk into Tower Two….we didn’t hear from him for about two to three days later,” she added.

Samantha Arias also spoke about where she was on September 11.

“I was at recess…6th grade…We were outside, and then the teachers called us back inside, the teachers were all panicked,” she said. “We went home early….then I saw what happened on TV…I thought it was a movie, I couldn’t believe it.”

After 10 years of remembering and honoring the people affected by 9/11, it seems to have had an effect on every American.

“(September 11) made me proud to be an American…and I take pride in living in America….and to appreciate life,” Ramirez said.“I was young and naive to the world….Hate and war didn’t exsist….it opened my eyes and made me more fearful,” Arias said.

September 11, 2001 for many Americans, was their real first act terrorism that many watched unfold on live television. Although it has been 10 years since the events, as a nation we will never forget. September 11th left a hole in the heart of the American people, however ceremonies like the Candlelight Vigil help us to heal and remember.