UNC Charlotte has 25,000 students. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in every 500 of them has HIV.
Ted Lewis, assistant director for Sexual and Gender Diversity at the Multicultural Resource Center at UNCC hopes he can rally enough students, faculty, and staff to someday make instances of HIV on campus much lower.
This is the third year the Multicultural Resource Center has organized a team to participate in AIDS Walk Charlotte. Now in its 15th year, AIDS Walk Charlotte is considered the largest HIV/AIDS awareness and fundraising event in the Carolinas. All proceeds stay local, benefitting Regional AIDS Interfaith Network, an organization that works to improve quality of life for those infected with HIV or AIDS, and to provide the public with education.
Last year, team UNC Charlotte-MRC won Best Youth Team through the event. This year the group is in fourth place overall among teams, already raising $2,208.87 of its $2,049 goal. "Our students seem to really appreciate the opportunity to do it," said Lewis, who serves as team leader.
Nine other campus organizations have formed teams for this year's walk May 7. Among them, Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc.; Graduate Social Work Association; Hmong Student Association; Mother's On the Verge of Excellence; People Recognizing Individual Diversity & Equality; Black Student Union; Swahili Club; MERGE Poetry Club; and Feminist Union.
Wednesday, the teams gathered for Countdown to AIDS Walk, a fundraiser at the Student Union to recruit new walkers and raise awareness of the presence of the disease on college campuses. Last year, 175 students took advantage of the free HIV testing offered during the event.
UNCC registered 158 AIDS Walk Charlotte participants in 2010, short of its 249 goal. This year Lewis said he thinks the university will reach that number.
"We've grown it a little bit each year," he said. "The last two years have been doing really well. It's been really popular with our student groups."
UNC Charlotte professor David Goldfield will read from his critically acclaimed new book, "America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation," Wednesday at the Levine Museum of the New South. "America Aflame" examines the Civil War and its lasting effects on the country. Goldfield will sign copies of the book afterward. The event is free to the public.
The campus community is invited to the annual Senior Design Exposition on Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. More than 80 projects entered by seniors of the William States Lee College of Engineering will be on display, including the stand designed for use in Carolinas Aviation Museum to hold the Airbus A320 that crashed in the Hudson River. The event is free to the public.
The University community raised $8,200 to benefit those affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Study abroad students from Japan and students enrolled in Japanese classes and their instructors presented the Japan Red Cross with $7,200.
Shoko Tokoro and the Atkins Library Staff Association collected $450 for the Japan Red Cross, and Kim Jones' freshman modern dance class contributed $550 to the American Red Cross, earmarked for the disaster.