North Park Students Engage in World AIDS Day


CHICAGO, IL (November 29, 2007) - North Park University students walk past 300 pictures of orphans who lost their parents to AIDS, and campus organizers of World AIDS Week hope the photographs will cause people to stop and think how they can fight the pandemic.

The photographs are mounted on stakes and line the pathways across the campus. They were set up Tuesday night and will remain through Saturday, says Julia Styles Hastie, coordinator of Global Partnerships with University Ministries. People can pick up the photographs and use the information to go online and sponsor a child, she adds.

The photographs are part of an ongoing week of events leading up to World AIDS Day, which is being observed around the world on Friday. North Park, along with 150 college campuses around the country, is holding special activities in partnership with World Vision's 6,000 Reasons campaign. The campaign is so named because 6,000 children around the world are orphaned due to AIDS each day, according to the organization.

At North Park, a prayer vigil was held Tuesday night, students wore red on Wednesday and watched the movie Miss HIV. A dialogue session was held last night, as well.

On Friday, November 30, staff and students are encouraged to wear red noses. Junior Dan Johnson borrowed the idea from a fundraising and awareness campaign sponsored by Comic Relief in England.

"We're willing to act foolishly so people would take AIDS seriously," Styles Hastie says. Campus organizers hope at least 1,000 people will participate.

A number of students also have signed up to participate in the World Vision 6,000 steps walk in Chicago on Friday. The will be joined by people from around the city.

For more information on the North Park activities, visit the University Ministries web site.