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The Daily Tar Heel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina • Page 4

The Daily Tar Heel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina • Page 4

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Issue Date:

4The Daily Tar HeelWednesday, October 10, 1990 Hi -aiinofl FEATrODraES UNC Best Buddy volunteers combine friendships, fun, learning experiences Korean club offers community social and cultural exposure "My Best Buddy's nice and sweet, like sugar." Emily Russell By ELIZABETH HARTEL Staff Writer A mob of excited children pours into the library at Ephesus Road Elementary School. The children search the crowd, finding their Best Buddies by locating the UNC students whose brightly colored name tags match their own. Enthusiastic children and UNC student volunteers attended this year's first meeting, and it's only the second year that N.C. students have been involved in this nationwide program, which pairs college students with mentally handicapped children. Best Buddies was founded in 1987 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver at Georgetown University. Shriver saw college students potential for developing friendships with these special children, and 66 chapters across the nation have formed since then. Sally Thompson, director of the UNC chapter, said the purpose of Best Buddies was to focus on one-to-one relationships between college students and mentally handicapped children. The children in the program are between the activities have included trips to the Morehead Planetarium, the zoo and the Putt-Putt golf course. A hayride with Best Buddies from Duke University will highlight this year's activities. Mary Wilhelm, a sophomore from Kernersville, said she was looking forward to being a Best Buddy. "I know how much you can learn from these kids. It's going to be a lot of fun," she said. She worked with the mentally handicapped in high school and when she heard about Best Buddies, she realized how much she missed the involvement. Best Buddy coordinator Joy Diamond, a junior from Canton, Ohio, said the learning experience was a motivation for joining the organization. Sandy Seagroves, a junior psychology major form Raleigh, summarized her reasons for joining, saying simply, "I love children." The children were also enthusiastic about meeting and getting to know their new friends. Twelve-year-old Emily Russell said, "My Best Buddy's nice and sweet, like sugar." "I would like for the club to make an impact on the community and the environment," Yu said. "I want to have more cultural events and more speakers. I want to plan more activities outside club meeting time to let us get to know each other better." Yu added that the club also hoped to send as many delegates as possible to the annual Korean American Student Conference in West Point, N.Y., this spring. "There will be Koreans there from all over the world," Yu said. "We want to be able to take as many members as want to go." Yu was enthusiastic about the future of the club. "We have good members, good officers, and people who want to expand this club," Yu said. "We are looking for people who are willing to contribute to the group. We don't discriminate as a club. We welcome all members and invite them to come see what we're all about." rean culture to join. "We want Korean Americans on the whole and those interested in Korea to feel free to come," she said. "We want people to feel comfortable around each other. We want for them to have a place on campus where they can go." The group sponsors a number of cultural and educational events throughout the year, Yu said. KASA sponsored a Korean Cuisine night, and later this month they will host a self-defense session with a Karate expert. The club also brings local Korean professionals to campus to talk about job opportunities for Korean students and give advice on job hunting, Yu said. Social events include parties and activities with the Korean Student Association at N.C. State and the Asian Club at Duke University. Although Yu said that KASA was not a service club, the group has participated in soup kitchens and sold Christmas Candy Grams to benefit the homeless. members from around the globe gather for Catalyst conference By M.C. DAG EN HART Staff Writer The Korean American Student Association (KASA) hopes to make tjhe enormous University world a little smaller for students with an interest in Korean culture and a desire to make qew friends. "The purpose of the group this year i to get to know more about our Culture," said KASA president Siyon Yu. "We have become so Americanized. We want to learn about our different backgrounds as well as make new friends." Founded in 1984 by former Morehead scholar Kevin Yoo, KASA has seen its membership steadily increase from year to year. "When Kevin came to UNC, there was no Asian community on campus," Yu said. "He felt it was important to keep up interaction within the same race." KASA treasurer Kyu Dho Dong encouraged anyone interested in Ko SEAC By MARY MOORE PARHAM Staff Writer They came from 50 states and 12 countries. Armed with little more than tents and the desire for environmental change, about 8,000 members of Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) gathered at the University of Illinois last weekend for Catalyst, a three-day student convention with an agenda as varied as its participants. Panel discussions, benefit concerts and workshops were held at the Champaign-Urbana campus for Catalyst, the second annual national SEAC convention. The first, Threshold, took place at UNC last year. This year's convention included a march and a rally as well as 5,000 more participants. Among those present were 49 students from UNC, the second largest group coming from outside of Illinois. For SEAC co-chairman Alec Guettel, the convention was akin to being at a football game extended for an entire weekend. "All that energy was there, not for football, but for something a lot of these people have dedicated their lives to," he said. "It was totally inspiring." The UNC contingent made the 14- "We can use it for only so many years and then it's gone." Sunday's session on environmental justice dealt with the issue of minorities in the environmental movement. The movement has been criticized for lack of racial diversity. Students and speakers focused their attentions on diversity, not only of the movement's participants, but of its agenda as well. Part of this diversity came in the form of anew committee within SEAC called the People of Color Caucus, which will elect a representative to sit on the national SEAC board. "There was a lot of anger, and for a while, it looked really Guettel said. "But I believe that if the environmental movement alienates a minority, it is an immediate failure and will cease to grow." Part of this growth is dependent on the actual definition of environmental-ism itself. Catalyst also addressed the issue of defining a term previously synonymous with rain forests and the ozone layer. "I think environmentalism is beyond trees and sky and is taking on a more universal sense," freshman Kirti Shastri said. "The environment is also a social ages of 7 and 12, and they range from mildly to moderately retarded. The first meeting was an opportunity for the children to get to know their buddies. Each child drew a picture of his buddy and got to know him, learning things like his buddy's favorite movie, food and game. After UNC students drew pictures of their buddies and asked similar questions, all the buddies ate ice cream and played outside. A student buddy arranges his own schedule with the child and parents, and each buddy sees the child on an individual basis two or three times a month, Thompson said. In addition, UNC Best Buddies sponsors monthly group activities. Past issue about the people we live with and how we are all interrelated." Jayne said environmentalism needed to be treated as a social issue. "Especially if you consider that the majority of toxic waste dumps are in low-income, minority neighborhoods." In addition to the two panel discussions, SEAC members planned a march and rally to culminate in the main quad of the campus. "We took up five blocks of street, and it really made you feel that we were large enough to effect change," Sinreich said. "To have so many people committed to making a difference was incredibly uplifting." Abbott agreed. "We would pass people on the side of the street and yell out for them to join us," she said. "The whole march was very symbolic of the movement. It was about reaching out to people, saying, 'Come join us, this is the direction we've got to head During the rally, foreign students spoke about their own involvement in environmentalism. In the forefront of discussion was the 1992 United Nations conference in Brazil, where many decisions will be made about the status of international environmental policy. SEAC, in association with other student coalitions, is already planning FPG "There is no way these women can get the degrees; it takes three to three and a half years," McSurely said. "I'm sure the FPG (Frank Porter Graham) and the University feel bad, but these women feel even worse," he said. "There ought to be a better way to make this policy shift." The center, in which about 60 children are enrolled, is studying the family and developmentally handicapped children. Sharon Landesman Ramey, former director of the center, said a task force reviewed ways to utilize the center bet Woodstock, however. The program opened with speeches by consumer and environmental advocate Ralph Nader, actor Robert Redford, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Dr. Helen Caldicott, president emeritus of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Each addressed his or her personal concerns as they related to the focal topics of corporate environmental responsibility and environmental justice. The first session targeted the oil industry and other corporations responsible for environmental transgressions caused by off-shore drilling or excessive product packaging. Freshman Stephanie Jayne explained the need to attack corporations directly to reach a lot of people. "Although attack may seem a strong word, I believe that when a corporation is targeted, it reaches more than just their executive board," she said. "Employees, stockholders, advertisers and the government will begin to take notice." In addition to corporate accountability is the need to conserve resources for future generations. "We're going to be giving this earth to someone else, and what people don't necessarily realize is that oil is a finite resource," Jayne said. IDaaibDimaIEfflys rA We've Ibcoaoglhitl: DayttODDS) to yoo. Present this coupon when ordering 1 visit $500 5 visits $2200 10 visits $3200 1 month of $40 hour trip to Illinois by van, arriving Friday at the county fairgrounds where they set up camp. At the time of the convention, only 2,700 students had registered. However, as SEAC members quickly realized, their numbers were much greater. "Because Catalyst was such a new concept, we had little to go on in terms of estimating the number of participants," said SEAC co-chairwoman Lisa Abbott. "But as we arrived, it was clear that we had about 4,000 people, and by Friday night, almost 8,000. It was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal." Indoor housing for SEAC members was limited, and most students chose to camp at the fairgrounds in tents or simply under the stars. A tent city emerged, complete with portable latrines and four showers per 3,000 people. Free mass transit was arranged to get students to and from the campus. At night, bonfires dotted the fairground, and spontaneous outbursts of guitar and drum playing filled the air, sophomore Ruby Sinreich said. SEAC members woke in the morning to small bands of students playing flutes and tambourines. Catalyst was more than a small-scale 9421078 EXPIRES 103090 WITH COUPON EXPIRES 101790 Anything in stock -Your choice -Not already on Sale! 3 mm mm 7 4 REG. PRICE WITH COUPON mm two parallel youth conferences to take place worldwide. The first would be held two months before the Brazil date and would draw up a list of demands to be presented during the U.N. conference. The second would take place during the U.N. meeting. "If decisions aren't made here in 1992, they will never happen," Guettel said. As Catalyst came to a close, the most often heard criticism of the meeting was its brevity. Smaller student discussion groups had to be cut out to make room for speakers and student workshops. What the convention lacked in time was compensated for by the empowerment for change brought home by its participants. "I left with an understanding that students are more ready than expected to take serious and definitive steps toward action," said UNC senior Ericka Kurz, national office coordinator. "There are a whole lot of people around the country ready to do something. They see the environment as more than just trees, but as people." Students interested in joining SEAC should attend Thursday's meeting in room 217A of the Student Union at 5:15, or stop by the SEAC office in the Campus for more information. from page 1 ter. The committee recommended that teachers have a master's degree to help in research and child development. The center then decided to have teachers meet the minimum requirements established by the government, she said. 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