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Pinching pennies for a cause

From Oct. 24 to 31 the UMKC Residential Life staff and students raised money for a cause.

In an effort to have friendly competition amongst the different wings in each residence hall, a penny war is waging at the front desk of each building: Oak Street Residence Hall, Johnson Hall and Oak Place Apartments.

The Penny Wars is similar to Wing Wars, which is held in the spring and involves outdoor sports and competition in a tournament style, but on a smaller scale.

The buildings, however, do not compete with each other. They only compete within each building.

“Every wing in each residence hall competes against one another to have the greatest ‘positive’ total of coins collected,” said Renee Schloss, Residential Life Social Justice Coordinator. “Pennies are ‘positive’ and all other coins and bills are ‘negative,’ resulting in a majority of the wings ending with a negative total.”

Each Apartment Living Assistant (ALA) and Resident Assistant (RA) had a jar in which students place their spare change each day.

The key to the game is to have the most pennies, and have as little silver change as possible.

After each day the change is counted and added to the scoreboard.

Every last cent will be donated to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The event was sponsored by the Midwest Affiliate of College & Universities Residence Halls (MACURH) delegation.

“Each year, the MACURH conference host chooses an active philanthropy project, and Missouri State University chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Schloss said. “We also participate in a passive philanthropy project as we collect pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.”

Some ALAs and RAs encourage their students to raise as much money as possible, regardless if it is silver change or not.

“It always amazes us how much residents are willing to donate just for bragging rights,” Schloss said. “Every year we always have a few staff members who prefer to achieve the title “most collected” and encourage their residents to donate “negative” accruing currency.”

In the end, whichever ALA or RA has the most pennies gets a prize. In past years, the wings received a pizza party from Residential Life.

The MACURH delegation is made up of various student and professional staff members of Residential Life.

The delegation prepares for the annual MACURH convention, which begins Nov. 5.

“MACURH is a regional conference that is more or less ‘professional development’ for students involved in residential life,” Schloss said. “We are able to view and present programs, vote upon “bids”, show our school spirit, and network with other universities. This is UMKC’s fourth year participating in the conference, and we are known for not only bringing home the trophy for philanthropy, but also being the primary contributor to the active philanthropy project. We are extremely proud of our residents for being so willing to donate for nothing more than ‘bragging rights’.”

MACURH can be found at various colleges throughout the Midwest, including states like Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri.

According to macurh.nacurh.org, MACURH is one of eight regions that make up the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH).

For more information about the Penny Wars or MACURH, go to www.umkc.edu/HOUSING/.

mlinville@unews.com

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