Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

43° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Student AIDS advocacy group aims to raise campus awareness

After a quarter of working with the Chicago community, the Northwestern HIV/AIDS Awareness group is planning to motivate the NU community to learn more about AIDS and how it affects students.

“AIDS and HIV still have a huge impact on lots of people’s lives, and everyone’s capable of getting it,” said Weinberg sophomore Tamika Bailey, president of NU’s HIV/AIDS Awareness group. “We want to get the message out to be careful and be aware at a time when people put (AIDS) in the back of their minds and the media doesn’t cover it as much as they used to.”

The group, which formed in September, wants to spend Winter Quarter reaching out to students.

During Fall Quarter, the group had a fund-raising party to benefit Better Existence with HIV, a local organization providing health and social services for people with HIV or AIDS on the North Shore. Members also volunteered at The Children’s Place, a Chicago hospital for children affected by HIV or AIDS.

“We got a lot accomplished our first quarter,” said Hadley Bentgen, a Weinberg senior who has been a member of the group since it formed. “I liked getting closer to the Chicago community. Being a Northwestern student, you’re often a little sheltered and isolated from the rest of the world. The group has really given me a chance to branch out, and it’s really opening up my mind.”

In an effort to raise student awareness, the group will host a closing reception in February for “Pandemic: Imaging AIDS,” a traveling exhibit showcasing photographs that reflect the impact of HIV and AIDS around the world. The exhibit is currently on display in Norris University Center’s Dittmar Gallery. The closing reception will include speeches by an HIV patient and the educational coordinator of BEHIV.

For Spring Quarter the group plans to organize an AIDS Awareness Week with movie nights, a speaker series and other events.

They also hope to strengthen alliances with other NU groups, such as the LGBT Support Network and the Rainbow Alliance.

Because the HIV/AIDS Awareness group is so close-knit, core members are able to take on more involved roles.

“(The group) is something where we as students can make a difference, a small group where we can all have an impact,” said group member Imran Oomer, a Weinberg sophomore.

Bailey said she is proud of the group’s accomplishments but thinks it can do even more.

“We’ve made a presence somewhat, and people have an idea that we’re on campus and that we’re a good resource,” Bailey said. “What would help us expand is to collaborate with other student groups. We definitely want to grow.”

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Student AIDS advocacy group aims to raise campus awareness