Sewanee students travel to New York City to assist AIDS patients

Students sell donuts in McClurgby In Soo Lee
Staff Writer

This year, one of the Sewanee Outreach trips will be going to New York. The team of students and staff members will leave March 13 and return to Sewanee on March 22. The New York Outreach trip will focus on issues that deal with HIV and AIDS. According to Maggie Dunlap (C’14), who went on this trip last year and is acting as a leader on this year’s trip says that, “While in New York, students learn a great deal about the history of HIV and AIDS, the origins of the social movement that surrounds them, and the status of those living with or affected by HIV and/or AIDS in our world today.”

The group will work with three organizations: The GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center), The Momentum Project, and Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. According to Dunlap, “The GMHC is a leading organization in the fight against HIV and AIDS, providing many services to thousands of clients, including free meals, counseling, testing, legal assistance, and vocational guidance.” Every week, the group meets with the leaders (Bea Perez Reyes, Dr. Amy Patterson, and Margaret Dunlap) and students leading up the trip in order to learn about the issues they will help out with.

According to Dunlap, “The meetings began with a visit from Canon Gideon Byamugisha, an Anglican priest from Uganda and visiting professor in the Politics Department who was one of the first members of the African faith community to openly admit to his HIV positive status. Canon Gideon’s personal struggle with HIV has become his life’s mission, and his testimony was an inspiring start to our study of HIV and AIDS.” Throughout the meetings this semester, the group has learned the difficulties faced by people living with or affected by HIV and/or AIDS and stigmas associated with HIV and AIDS. The group also watched “And the Band Played On,” a film that chronicles the discovery of the HIVand the first steps towards treatment for those living with HIV and/or AIDS.

The group is selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to raise money for the trip. They wanted to do Krispy Kreme doughnuts because there is no store nearby and it is a great deal for those who love doughnuts and want to help out a good cause.