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SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat for Humanity Shack-A-Thon to raise awareness, funds for affordable, quality housing in Syracuse Sept. 22-24

September 15, 2010

Carol Kim Masiclat
(315) 443-8568

As Syracuse University and local organizations work to create affordable, quality housing in the city of Syracuse, the Syracuse University/SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is taking an additional approach to the problem.

shackathonFrom Sept. 22-24, SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat for Humanity will host its third annual Shack-A-Thon event at SU. During the event, hundreds of University students will sponsor and “live” in small shacks on the University’s Quad. After the event, each shack will be donated to local nonprofit organizations and families to serve as playhouses. This advocacy/awareness event also raises funds for the SU/SUNY-ESF chapter house being built on Gifford Street in the city’s Near Westside neighborhood.

Throughout Shack-A-Thon, participating student organizations will host events to bring students to the Quad, including ultimate Frisbee, dodgeball and other tournaments. On Sept. 23, a benefit concert featuring SU student a cappella groups will be held in Gifford Auditorium. On Sept. 24 at 2 p.m., a press conference will take place. Speakers include Habitat for Humanity International Director of National Service Peter Rumsey, Department of Government Relations and Advocacy Program Coordinator Ian McAllister, a representative from Congressman Dan Maffei’s office and SU Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Thomas V. Wolfe.

“Shack-A-Thon is a chance for students to gain some perspective about the need for affordable housing in our immediate area as well as nationwide,” says Frances Batarse, co-coordinator of this year’s event. “Having our shacks on the Quad is meant to draw attention to the substandard housing that families have no choice but to live in, and with this attention we hope to get our population engaged in the surrounding community.”

The SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter successfully raised money in 2009 for a Habitat home on Elliott Street in Syracuse. Now, it is fundraising for its next house on Gifford Street, where construction will begin later this month.

The SU/SUNY-ESF chapter of Habitat for Humanity was established 1991. The non-denominational organization works with students and with the local Syracuse Habitat affiliate to help eliminate substandard housing in Syracuse. SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat participants also travel across the country on alternative spring break trips, where students are sent to build homes for families in the Southeastern United States. The chapter was recognized in 2010 as one of the top three out of more than 500 campus chapters in the United States for its support of the local affiliate, spring break work and advocacy programming.

Events are free and open to the public, with visitor parking in the University’s pay lots. For more information on this event, contact Batarse at

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