Students, Profs Taking Dares to Fight AIDS in Africa

October 15, 2010 - News Release

Last year, University of Guelph student Nicole Markwick took a dare: stand outside in men's boxer shorts and ask people for their spare change. The money went to a good cause - helping to fight AIDS in Africa - as part of “Dare to Remember,” a national fundraising campaign run by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

“The whole concept is daring yourself to take risks, put yourself out there, do something you normally wouldn’t do,” said Markwick, a third-year bachelor of arts and sciences student. She and several other students decided to don boxer shorts and ask people for donations; they raised close to $900.

Markwick also plans to take part in "Dare to Remember" 2010, which runs Oct. 18 to 22 on the U of G campus. But her “dare” this time around is a bit different. Working with student organizers, she’s challenged herself to ask others at the University — including the president and other administrators — to get involved and dare themselves to do something to help raise awareness and money to fight AIDS in Africa. All of the funds raised will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

“The dares can be silly or serious," she said. "It’s all about solidarity, facing challenges and taking risks like people who are infected or affected by AIDS do every day. So we are asking people to be creative, face their fears, test their endurance, mobilize others. There is a huge variation in what people are planning to do.”

President Alastair Summerlee, along with Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic), will sing and dance on the University Centre courtyard Friday, Oct. 22, at 11:45 a.m. Their number will feature Mancuso on lead vocals, with Summerlee, Serge Desmarais, associate vice-president (academic), and Kevin Hall, vice-president (research), as back-up singers.

Others taking part in the week include:

- Mathematics professor Jack Weiner is inviting students to go on a walk in the Arboretum with him and his golden retriever, Callie, Monday at 5:30 p.m. Weiner is donating $1 for every student on the walk.

- Psychology professor Ian Lubek auctions off bracelets, scarves and T-shirts made by children in Cambodia at the Bullring Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Also on Wednesday, J.P. Lewis of the Learning Commons plans to teach his political science classes as if it were 1981, the year the Centres for Disease Control officially recognized AIDS as a disease. He will limit the technology and other materials that day to what was available on that date in history, and is inviting students to dress in '80s fashions.

- History professor Jacqueline Murray holds a “Stump the Prof . . . About Sex!“ competition Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the MacKinnon Building lobby. If you stump her on the history of sex, you can enter your name to win a prize basket.

Wednesday also features a "Dare to Perform" open mic night that involves students "daring" themselves to perform. It starts at 8 p.m. at the Bullring. Schedule of events

“Our goal this year is raising awareness and promoting sustainability rather than a specific dollar amount,” Markwick said. “We want people to become familiar with the event so that it is something that they want to take part in each year.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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