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SU, ESF students shack up for Habitat

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.

From Sept. 22 to 24, SU/SUNY-ESF Habitat for Humanity will host its third annual Shack-A-Thon event at SU. 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 awareness event will also raise funds for the SU/SUNY-ESF chapter house being built on Gifford Street in the city's Near Westside neighborhood.

"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," said event coordinator Frances Batarse.

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 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.

Additional events scheduled to take place throughout the Shack-a-Thon, including an a capella concert on Sept. 23, are free and open to the public with visitor parking available in the SU pay lots.

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