Many hands make light work
By Scott Shelby
It is often easier to focus on
differences that divide us than it is to celebrate common ground.
But for a growing coalition of UIS students and community
organizations, all differences will be put aside to build a
Habitat for Humanity home in Springfield.
The House of Abraham is a
partnership project coordinated by Habitat for Humanity (Habitat)
that celebrates the common heritage between these three religions.
Christians, Jews and Muslims revere Abraham, and call him by his
Arabic name, Ibrahim.
Members of Christian, Jewish,
Muslim and Unitarian congregations will come together with
corporate partners to build the House of Abraham. This is the
54th house to be built by Habitat in the Springfield area, a
national charitable organization that helps those in need build
prefabricated houses and temporarily underwrites the construction
costs with interest-free loans. Founded in 1976, Habitat has
built more than 50,000 houses in the United States and more than
100,000 houses around the world.
This is the first of two houses to
be built this year in a new sub-division called Habitat Place that
will eventually include homes for 11 families. In November, Kim
Harmon, of Habitat, invited the UIS Muslim Students’ Association (MSA)
to participate in this build, a proposal strongly supported by the
MSA members (contact: Fareed Ismail,
email@example.com or (217) 206-1392). The exact date of the
build will depend on the weather, but it should take place in late
spring or early summer.
Dan Frachey of Habitat has built
the partnerships that will build the house. “So far the Islamic
Society of Greater Springfield, Temple Israel, Temple B’rith
Shalom, Blessed Sacrament Church, 1st Congregational Church, Pax
Christi, and the Abraham Lincoln Congregation of the Unitarian
Universalist Association have confirmed that their congregations
will help with the House of Abraham,” Frachey said. Support is
also forthcoming from corporate sponsors CVS Pharmacies, Inc. and
the Prairie Heart Center. The Prairie Heart Center will hold a
walkathon, the proceeds of which will underwrite part of the costs
of this build, Frachey said.
UIS students have indicated that
they too will take an active role in the build, through the MSA
and a proposed student affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. This
student group is still in the formative stages, but interested
students should contact UIS Coordinator for Student Volunteers and
Service-Learning, Karin Cotterman at
Cotterman.Karin@uis.edu or (217) 206-7716. Cotterman connects
students with volunteer, service-learning and community service
opportunities, and has worked with Habitat before. In September,
2002 UIS students were among students from five area institutions
who participated in Habitat’s first ever youth build in Sangamon
The House of Abraham will be part
of the new Habitat Place sub-division, situated just east of the
Seven Pines Apartments in the 3400 block of S. Park St. Habitat
covers the cost of the lot and all construction costs for housing
applicants who can demonstrate a need for affordable housing.
Successful applicants must contribute 250 hours (each or 500 hours
for a married couple) of “sweat-equity”, which is time spent
working on one’s own house and the houses of others. After the
home is built, new home-owners then repay the cost of the home
interest-free over terms up to 30 years.
Shuttles offers late ride home
By Ben Grafton
Tired of walking or driving
everywhere on campus during the night? You could take the shuttle
around to help you a little more. All you need is your UIS I-Card
and you can go wherever you want within Springfield boundaries.
shuttle has been around for several years. The shuttle was a
useful tool to helping students go anywhere around the campus
boundaries with ease and relaxation. These boundaries are as far
as Toronto Road, Dirksen Parkway, North Grand Avenue, and Chatam
Road. Unfortunately, as years pass, the use of the shuttle has
been declining to where it may finally be stopped.
According to John Ringle, the shuttle
has been “going on for quite a while. It was originally supposed
to be a benefit to students taking classes in the capitol
center.” This use for the shuttle ended several years ago. Now
the shuttle is used to transfer students around campus boundaries,
starting around 10:15 or 10:20 at night.
As many members of the campus
community already know, the shuttle is soon going to be stopped.
Although the shuttle has remained for this semester, it will most
likely be gone when the next semester starts. This is mainly due
to a large declining number of riders on the shuttle. Ringle
explains that last semester, “our most active day of the week was
Wednesday. We’d get about eight people a week, so that’s about
two riders a night, and seventy-six total rides. It was not
something that was performing at the same level expected.”
There was a notification sent out
during the fall semester about the shuttle closing, but due to
various reasons the shuttle remained this year, by payment from
Dr. Miller. However, during this semester, more students arrived
and wanted to use the shuttle, thus a reason why Dr. Miller had
helped in reinstituting the shuttle for this semester. The
shuttle resumed activity on campus during the twenty first of
Ringle stated that he, “would like to
see it (the shuttle) continue,” but this would require for some
group or organization to take a hold of the funds so students can
still use the shuttle. Ringle also mentioned that he hopes, “this
semester there will be a discussion whether or not the shuttle
stays or goes.”
Although the shuttle may seem past
her time, she has lived a good life here on campus and perhaps
live again if ever taken under the wings of another organization.
Library Archives hold A piece of
Interested in finding information on
local history but do not know where to look? Next to the media
lab in Brookens Library, the archives await you in room 144.
Inside, you can find historical information that could help you in
a history class, or with a masters project.
hold many items of history and books that are all unable to be
issued outside of the library, due to their rarity, closed
circulation, old age and fragility. As Tom Wood, head of the
archives, stated, “Most of the material is unique and we can’t
replace it. So we’re not able to let them be borrowed.” Inside,
you will find a variety of university, administrative, or local
history and genealogy records. They have microfilms, reel to reel
videos of mainly campus events, and various collections for
research. Many of the things in the archives have also been used
for the university’s publicity.
Along with history and notes on the
campus, the archives also have records of local organizations and
historical events, including the days of coal mining in
Springfield. Wood explained that the archives “go back to the
very beginning of Sangamon State University, which started in 1969
and opened in 1970.” One example shown was the changes to the
school paper. Starting in September of 1970, the first newspaper
on campus was called The Spectrum. It later would change its name
to The Pipeline, The Sangamon Star, to finally The Journal. All
of these can be found in the library archives.
The archives also hold various
microfilms for the government county records, mainly for the use
of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository system (IRAD).
Anyone can access these but they are mainly county records.
“We collect records from fourteen
counties. These records include birth, death, marriage, and some
court case records,” Wood said.
They also have a large oral history
collection, covering over a thousand interviews of coal miners,
farmers, prisoners of war, and much more. Along with the
interviews there are records of the 1908 race riot, mine incidents
and even the “mine wars” that occurred between two mining
companies that literally fought for mines with bombs and guns.
The Archives are open Monday through
Friday regularly from 9am to 5pm. The only accessible room for
the public is the reading room. From there, all you would have to
do is ask to use one of their items, and they would get it for
you. They also have a list with descriptions of their collection
on their website ( http://www.uis.edu/library/lib-arch/ ).
Along with Wood, four others staff
the archive, including two IRAD interns.
Deborah Camden is the Technical
Assistant in the archives. She explained that she wanted to go
into library science and try to become a law librarian. She
explained that the archives have been, “quite the experience.
There are a lot of interesting things back here that I never
realized we had. It’s like a treasure hunt.”
Pat Gleason, an IRAD interns, said,
“Its just fascinating working with the old documents. This is a
great source for history students to come to.”
If you are a graduate student, a
history major or just someone curious about events that occurred
in the past, the archives will help you find the answers you
need. They may be able to even find something that will even