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February 8, 2007


AIDS fundraiser this month

An open letter to the faculty, staff and students of the University of Pittsburgh

Dear Friends,

Today, we are at war. I do not speak of the conflict in Iraq. The war I speak of has cost millions of lives, destroyed the economies of almost one hundred nations, left orphans and the elderly as sole inhabitants of towns, caused the rape of countless virgins, spread poverty, destroyed the morale of two continents and has begun to destroy a third. The numbers of casualties of this war are unknown, and their names will be forgotten as their parents, brothers, sisters, children, aunts and uncles perish beside them. By 2010, it is estimated that an additional 45 million people will be directly involved as victims of this war. Already, over 12.3 million children have been orphaned.

With this in mind, I am asking you, an educated group of individuals for whom I hold the utmost respect, to save the lives of the victims of this conflict. You have raised awareness of Darfur, cried out against injustices in sweat shops, led protests against the war in Iraq and made it known to our leaders that your voices must be heard. I ask you to do the same, and more, today.

Yesterday, Feb. 7, the Change for a Change AIDS fundraiser began on campus. This fundraiser aims to raise $17,000 to provide medication and hope to the victims of the war that we as a world fight with AIDS. The funds we raise will be split among three organizations: the United Nations Global Fund, Doctors Without Borders and Keep A Child Alive to support their treatment programs in Africa.

Our change containers will be placed in participating local businesses. We will be selling T-shirts as well as wrist bands on campus, and we will be sponsoring several events throughout the course of February. Don’t just donate your spare change, however. Keep the victims of this war in mind, and write our congressmen and our president, so they do not just passively watch this battle unfold, but fight in it.

Our group, Change for a Change, is on both and, and we have a blog at To volunteer for the Change for a Change AIDS fundraiser, email We are a student-led initiative, but welcome faculty, staff, alumni and community participation as well. It is only by uniting against the disease that the battle can be won.

Christina A. Boyes

Pitt Class of 2007



Change for a Change


Mass transit should be a no-brainer priority

To the editor:

That was a great article covering the Jan. 22 hearing on proposed mass transit cuts (University Times Jan. 25, 2007). Staff writer Peter Hart did an excellent job of gathering up what I felt were the most important points made by participants and conveying a sense of the bigger picture regarding these cuts, which I think is being either missed or ignored by the Port Authority and our government officials.

Solid public transportation should be a no-brainer priority for any major city, and it truly is needed in order for many residents to earn a living.

This city, as pointed out at the hearing by Pitt history professor Van Beck Hall, is placing too much importance on luxury items and paying too little attention to basic needs. It’s sort of like an apartment tenant making an official decision to stop paying his gas bill so he can keep going out to see movies — because somehow the gas will probably work itself out, but God, it sure would be a bummer not to be able to see movies anymore.

Bill McNelis

Staff member

School of Education


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Letters can be sent by e-mail to or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

The University Times reserves the right to edit letters for clarity or length. Individuals are limited to two published letters per academic term. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication.

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