Cornerstone University News

CU Experiences Life as a Refugee

Incoming undergrad students will participate in "Refugee for a Week," a seven-day simulation event to experience life as a refugee.

Beginning July 7, each day the class of 2018 is invited to adopt a 24-hour practice that will cause them to pause and reflect on the conditions of daily life in a refugee camp.

Throughout the week, students will go without the use of technology and electricity, opt out on purchasing anything for a day, repeat an outfit from the day prior, refrain from purchasing food, restrict their use of hygiene products, experience sleeping on the floor, and rely on transportation other than their own.

The event launches the theme for Terra Firma, a required first year experience course. This year's Terra Firma focus is on refugees across the world. Each freshman is asked to read Lopez Lomong’s book, “Running For My Life” this summer before the semester starts. The book informs students about Lomong’s journey from a lost boy in the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team.

Chip Huber, dean of student engagement, wants students to be challenged to live for one week and in one way a day how Lopez did for several years in Africa.

“Our hope is that this stimulation helps you more deeply understand what life is like for millions in our world still today,” Huber told participating students.

Admissions counselors and staff are also participating in the event. They will blog about their experiences, posing a question for students to comment each day. Conversations will continue in-person when students arrive on campus on Aug. 28.

Lomong is scheduled to speak at CU in September and meet with students who will discuss his book in their Terra Firma class.

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