MSA kicks off ‘Cabin Fever Week’ with clothing, food drive

by Tom Ford

During the past two weeks, residents of Territorial Hall filled a laundry bin with old pairs of pants and bright gold Gophers football T-shirts for a charity drive.

But Corey Long, Territorial Hall director, said that when the drive ended they didn’t have anywhere to take the donations.

With Monday’s kickoff of Minnesota Student Association’s “Cabin Fever Week,” those clothes will soon find bodies to cover.

Throughout the week, MSA will conduct a campus-wide food and clothing drive, the proceeds of which will be donated to Sharing and Caring Hands, a Minneapolis charity organization that offers several services such as meals and shelters.

The drive will coincide with a variety of events to increase student involvement and promote awareness of MSA among University students, Kristina Grones said.

“A lot of people have heard of MSA, but they don’t know what we do,” she said.

Grones said she hopes the week-long events will show students ways they can become involved in MSA.

By holding a simultaneous charity drive, she said, MSA also can demonstrate how they deal with issues beyond University confines and impact the Twin Cities community.

Ali Forbes, a Sharing and Caring Hands family advocate, said this drive is one of the first partnerships between her organization and a University group, but it comes at a good time of the year.

Forbes said Minnesota experiences a high demand for seasonal workers in the summer.

But when the temperature drops, Forbes said, job opportunities dwindle and unemployment and homelessness rise.

“In the winter, we need more, but people usually give more,” she said.

The drop sites are located in residence halls on campus.

Josh Colburn, president of the Residence Hall Association, said the residence halls are frequently sites for other drives and continuously collect donations during the school year.

Colburn said MSA has advertised its drive through flyers and e-mails to residents.

“This drive will probably be one of our most successful,” Colburn said.

The week’s other activities include water bottle and coffee giveaways Tuesday and Wednesday and a concert at the Gateway Alumni Center Thursday night featuring three University student bands. Friday night, Centennial Hall will host a comedy show.

Admission to the concert and comedy show costs $1 or two non-perishable food items.