This week appears to be the calm before the commencement storm at KU: Things are pretty quiet event-wise, at least as quiet as they can be on a campus this big.
So I'll use this week's events roundup mostly to draw your eyes to one event that probably does merit a few minutes of your attention.
We told you a few weeks back about one effort mounted quickly by KU students to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and here's another one: Another group has organized a 5K/10K run for this weekend to raise more funds, called "Freedom on the Hill." It's set for 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday (Mother's Day) on the KU West Campus, starting at the marching band practice field (west of the Lied Center and Dole Institute of Politics, near the radio tower).
I could babble a bit about what the students are trying to do, but you'd be better off watching this video they produced:
As you can see, a whole bunch of campus groups are involved. The KU Army ROTC is the main sponsor. All the funds raised go to the One Fund Boston, a special relief fund. You can enter for $15, or pay $25 to enter two people. More info is available on a website the organizers have created.
Galloway, N.J., senior Howard Ting, one of the students involved, tells me the effort started April 15, the day of the bombings. He and others were working on a group fundraising project in a communication studies class, and they decided that night to change course and organize something for the Boston victims. Within two weeks, they'd finished planning and gotten the approval they needed, which Ting said required no small amount of work.
Ting said they've got about 35 people helping to organize the event, and they're aiming to sign up about 250 runners and raise between $5,000 and $9,000. You can see more information, register for the race, donate or sign up to volunteer at a website the organizers set up, FreedomOnTheHill.com.
Now, on to the rest of your weekly roundup of KU-related events:
• From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, the staff at KU's Natural History Museum will head over to the Red Lyon Tavern, 944 Massachusetts St., for something called "Science on the Spot: Bar Edition." They'll be using stuff one might find at a bar — limes, napkins and, yeah, booze — to do some scientific demonstrations about DNA extraction, fire, laws of motion and other concepts. It's free to get in.
• Coming Wednesday morning, 9 a.m. to noon: The final Heard on the Hill Office Hours of the spring semester. It's your last chance to tell me what you think of our KU news coverage, let us know what we should be writing about and exchange a few hugs before we all go our separate ways this summer, sniff sniff. So stop by the Media Crossroads at the Kansas Union and say hi.
• Friday is Stop Day, and that means it's time for the annual springtime Stop Day campus tour from Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson.
As I said, it's a bit of a quiet week. At least I think so: If I'm wrong, and there's something else we should note, just add it in below in the comments. And get those KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org as always — but ONLY IF you cannot make it to Heard on the Hill Office Hours on Wednesday even with every ounce of effort you can muster.
More LJWorld KU News Coverage
As you may have seen me yapping about, I set up shop at the Kansas Union on Wednesday morning last week for some "office" hours.
And I have to say the morning surpassed my expectations. You folks filed into the doors of the Media Crossroads on the Union's fourth floor one after another. You told me about stories I didn't know about and helped me learn about more of the many, many people and places at KU.
So many of you came by that I could hardly get any work done. And that's a good thing.
So now that I've confirmed that people on campus are interested in what stories I'm telling and want to come talk about it, I'm planning to have regular Heard on the Hill Office Hours every two weeks for the rest of the spring semester.
I'll be back in the Media Crossroads from 9 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, until classes are done in May. (That means I'll be there on Feb. 27, March 13 and 27, April 10 and 24 and May 8.)
I'll remind you about each of those dates as they approach. Please drop by for a few minutes and tell me what I should be writing about, what I should be doing better and what questions you have.
If you'd like to come chat but you can't make it over to the Union on Wednesday mornings, let me know and we can work something out. That email address, again, is email@example.com.
You know, when I started writing about KU, I was enchanted by the idea of getting back on the campus. In my mind, I'd be strolling down Jayhawk Boulevard again, calculating in my head how long it would take me to walk from Budig Hall down to the Kansas Union, pretending I was back in college. (Students: When you're not in college anymore, you're going to want to pretend you're back in college.)
And sure, I'm no stranger to campus these days. But, you see, I've got all this "work" that occupies a lot of my time: writing stories, firing off phone calls and emails, crafting these blog entries that you follow so very devotedly.
So I end up spending most of my time cooped up in the Journal-World's News Center. It's a lovely building, but it does not allow me to soak in that campus feeling. And more importantly, you are not here.
Hence, an announcement: Next week I'll be holding my first-ever Heard on the Hill Office Hours on the KU campus. From 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, my "office" will be the Media Crossroads at the Kansas Union. That's the room just to your right when you come in the main entrance on the fourth floor, near Alderson Auditorium, with one bright green wall. I'll be there with my laptop and perhaps a cup of coffee.
Yes, it will give me an excuse to come to campus. But the real point is that you, a person on campus, can come talk to me. Whether you're a student, staffer or faculty member, please come tell me what stories you think I should be telling, what you didn't like about my article last week or what else is on your mind. Or ask me anything you want.
Cal Butcher, the Media Crossroads director, has kindly offered up the space for me to use Wednesday morning. I like to think this fits nicely into the School of Journalism's goal with that space: to help people tell stories. I may continue to have Heard on the Hill Office Hours there every week or two, or I may rotate times and spots on campus so everyone who wants to can make it.
But for this to work, I need you to come see me. Please come say "Hi."
And if you want to come by but that time and place doesn't work, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, as always, send your KU news tips that way, as well. (Or, better yet: Come tell me in person on Wednesday.)