International Outreach

OWU student organizations step up in midst of Pakistani crisis

OWU students, including Nick Connelly ’11, collected food to benefit Pakistan during the week of September 20. Because the Battling Bishops collected more cans than the Fighting Scots, Wooster’s athletics director will have to wear red and black apparel when the schools’ basketball teams play. (Photo by Ryan Bolger ’11)

Ohio Wesleyan University beat the College of Wooster on September 25.

While OWU lost its first night football game on that date, the school won a second significant contest—a canned food drive competition to benefit Pakistan.

OWU students donated nearly 1,100 cans compared to Wooster’s 950. As a result, Wooster Athletic Director Keith Beckett will reluctantly don OWU red and black apparel when the schools meet for a basketball game later this year.

The canned food drive was a joint effort among the Ohio Wesleyan Athletic Council (OWAC), Horizons International (OWU’s international student organization), and WCSA (Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs).

“Horizons International approached WCSA and wanted to mobilize a Pakistan relief movement similar to what we did for Haiti,” says Sharif Kronemer ’12, WCSA vice president. “We wanted to use WCSA as a forum for a bunch of different student organizations to work on Pakistan flood relief.”

Kronemer also is a member of OWAC, which was planning the canned food drive competition with Wooster. He proposed the organizations collaborate to have the competition benefit Pakistan. WCSA and Horizons also hosted a 50/50 raffle in which football game attendees could purchase a ticket for $1. Half of the money went to the raffle winner and half to Pakistani relief organizations.

Horizons also is serving as an umbrella organization to facilitate additional relief efforts, says Horizons member Shahryar Khan ’13 of Pakistan. The international student organization held a campus-wide meeting September 8 and started a Facebook page—“Sympathize with Pakistan”—to coordinate relief efforts within and outside the OWU community.

“The response we’ve had has been awesome,” Khan says. “We can’t ask for more from the OWU community. They’ve been very helpful, and people are doing what they can.”

Amnesty International, The Chinese Club, The Vietnamese Club, Rafiki Wa Africa, and Tauheed are among the student organizations that have helped WCSA and Horizons raise approximately $3,500 over the last few weeks.

Funds raised from OWU relief efforts will be donated to Doctors Without Borders, The Citizen’s Foundation, and Giving Children Hope. Donations are handled by the Chaplain’s Office and are managed in an account titled “Pakistan Flood Relief” at Delaware County Bank.

The OWU community has given a lot toward relief efforts in Pakistan, but the flooded region still needs help, relief organizers say.

“This is an issue affecting millions of people,” Kronemer says, “so having various committees pushing for flood relief is important.”

Wooster’s athletic director may deal with some conflicting interests when he puts on his Bishop gear for the OWU vs. Wooster basketball game, but at least he can take solace in the fact that it is for a good cause.

Donations for Pakistani relief may be made online at Doctors Without Borders, The Citizens Foundation, and Giving Children Hope.

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