Students chalk 'well wishes' for Japan

Students support Japanese relief efforts through temporary street artwork made of chalk.

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Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 12:00 am

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In response to the Japanese earthquakes and tsunami in early March, students organized a relief effort to raise money and awareness for the devastated country.

Chalk the Walk brought students and student groups together Thursday to create chalk drawings representing what they envisioned when thinking about Japan.

Each student received a 10-by-10-foot square to chalk, reflecting the "Well Wishes for Japan" theme.

Kavaruss Coleman, a sophomore in engineering and a participant in said he would like the people of Japan to have faith.

"I just want people to know that Japan still has hope," Coleman said. " I want my piece to instill in others a message of hope."

The event, sponsored by the Crafts Center and the Campus Arts Council, also featured prizes such as a free class for those who raise the most money. The group or team who raises the most donations will receive a free group activity of choice from the Crafts Center.

Students working on other relief efforts are working together to give to Origami Wishes, a program through Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service.

According to Craft Center director George Thomas, program organizers have not yet determined a destination for the donations, which will eventually benefit Japan's rehabilitation.

Jennifer Lee, a freshman in textile technology and participant said she hopes the money will go to education in Japan.

"Education is really important and I'd like to see them get schools started back up," Lee said. "You can't really get anywhere without education."

Lee, who said she's participated in other chalk festivals, said she would like to see the event continue and grow.

"There aren't that many people here and there could be more," said Lee. "I know there are more people that chalk on campus. I learned to chalk in a day and if you're an artist, it's not that hard to do. I know design and arts village students could get into it."

Although relief efforts for Japan on campus are happening continuously, many students like Richard Combs, a junior in biological sciences, said they wish there was a better way to stay informed and get involved.

"Origami Wishes seems to be getting things together and have been setting up at several events. The donations are extremely helpful. I wish I could play a bigger part in it."

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