Heard on the Hill: The Big Event has students ready to volunteer, but they still need projects to work on; local AAUP chapter involved in tenure spat; fans take to YouTube after KU-MU game
Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• Some students at KU are facing a rather interesting problem.
They’ve got about 1,000 student volunteers signed up to do a bunch of volunteer work on March 31. But they can’t seem to find enough of the work.
It’s all part of something called The Big Event, which started at Texas A&M University. KU had their first attempt last year and is trying to get it going again this year.
The idea is that students say “thanks” to the Lawrence community by volunteering to help out with any number of tasks: mowing, cleaning, odd jobs and the like.
They’ve got about 70 places interested in getting some help so far, and 15 students per site is probably a bit much. They’re looking to attract at least 100 more.
They’ve faced a few hurdles. First, the volunteers I’ve talked to have tried hard to get around a few misconceptions behind their intentions. This isn’t something for the elderly, or the needy, or anything else. Anyone — and they really mean anyone — can sign up for some help.
“If you’re a college student or if you’re 105 years old, we’ll come to your yard and help,” Emily Lamb, one of the event’s organizers, told me.
Also, the website where the students planned to do most of the registration, thebigeventku.com, has been having a few hiccups (it wasn’t available when I checked on Sunday). But people interested in getting a little help with some household chores still have a few options.
They can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Student Union Activities Box Office at 864-7469.
The group has extended the deadline to apply for assistance to March 9.
• Albert Romkes, the KU engineering professor who was denied tenure, has picked up a few more allies.
KU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, is pushing for the national organization to involve itself in the case.
If it found that KU violated the AAUP principles of academic freedom and tenure, the group that advocates for shared governance and the rights of faculty members could choose to censure KU, placing it on this list of institutions.
Mohamed El-Hodiri, a KU economics professor who is the leader of KU’s AAUP chapter, told me he’s pushing the national organization to involve itself in Romkes’ case, but it hasn’t yet taken any action.
I’ll continue to watch for new developments.
• And, oh yes, KU just happened to beat Missouri in basketball last weekend.
This event inspired a whole bunch of joy among Jayhawk fans everywhere. And, as we travel more and more into the digital age, these moments are being immediately memorialized on video and shared with large groups of people. Here are just a few I found floating around my own social networks.
There’s this pretty good video from the stands (that frankly has a better angle than the weird CBS shots I was seeing all game).
And then there’s this account that details some of the celebrations happening on Massachusetts Street after the game.
There’s this video that shares a bit of the ear-splitting noise right before the overtime period.(with a “crying Jayhawk” thrown in for good measure).
To borrow a line from those “chicken-dinner” items you’ll see occasionally in newspapers in smaller communities across the country, “A good time was had by all.”
• It’s always a good time here at Heard on the Hill World Headquarters. Your tips you keep sending to email@example.com help make it that way.