In the news

Salem State Log
By
Stephanie Scott

Salem State University students took part in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which started on Nov. 13. As part of that, students participated in Homeless For One Night, also called a sleepout, where they slept outside on campus Nov. 14.

The sleepout allowed people an opportunity to discuss, reflect, and learn about homelessness. Sleepouts usually last for 12 hours. This was SSU's first time participating in such an event.

According to Tom Durfee, the civic engagement chair of Student Government Association (SGA), the sleepout was a good way to "get the word out."

"It's a collaboration between us and the Massachusetts Student Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) and that it was something we wanted to do," Durfee said. "The SGA is looking for people who are already interested, dedicated and proactive."

One SSU student, who wished to remain anonymous, said she would not participate because she has been homeless before and would not want to go through it again. She and her mother had to sleep in the park near their old apartment.

This student added that her mother periodically left her with an aunt and uncle while she looked for a job and that she did find a job working for a realtor and eventually became a secretary.

Durfee said that for now they are just focusing on college students. He said they are taking baby steps and that they are building as they go.

"We are trying to reach out to people in the sociology field to gain perspective and understanding on homelessness," Durfee said.

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