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Husky Renaissance planned for April
will focus on community
February 15, 1999

A weeks-long metanoia, or period of reflection, called "Husky Renaissance" will take place during April.

Designed to focus attention on building community, the period will feature campus-wide events including a major speaker, and also provide an opportunity for faculty, staff, departments and other campus organizations to seek support for special programs.

The Husky Renaissance is one of the activities supported by the Chancellor's Special Task Force on Community and Civility, which delivered its report to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

The Renaissance will encourage dialogue about campus community by incorporating discussions in curricular and co-curricular experiences during the period of metanoia.

"We encourage faculty to propose projects or invite speakers who can focus on the theme of community," said Chancellor Mark Emmert. "This is an opportunity to engage faculty, staff, and students in building a cohesive campus community and in working to unite the mini-communities on our campuses into the overall learning community."

The metanoia will include an opening event, information gathering, feedback to the administration on community building, and sponsored activities and programs.

The committee is asking faculty members to participate in a special discussion program called "Reflections on UConn." The program includes a guide to facilitating discussion and an open-ended questionnaire asking what stakeholders in the UConn community hope to get out of their experience at UConn, what they are willing to put into their experience, and how they view their experiences here. Written by Professors Jose Gaztambide and Ken Neubeck, both members of the committee, the questionnaire will be collected and analyzed. "All feedback and suggestions will be taken seriously," Emmert said.

Husky Renaissance will also include a World Fest and a community service day in May.

Mike Kurland, one of the co-chairs of Husky Renaissance, said the committee is excited about the plans and is eager to support activities that focus on community and civility - in the classroom, at special events, and during group activities.

"We need the help of all stakeholders in the UConn community to make this a success," he said. The Husky Renaissance is the beginning of a multi-year effort to build community, he said. "This is a time to define community, determine what we want from the community, what we want to give to the community, what the ideal community would look like, and what we might be willing to give up to achieve the ideal community."

A special logo for Husky Renaissance is being designed by students in the graphic arts program.

Requests for support for specific programs can be made to Janice Gudinkas, a member of the committee, U-8, (860) 486-3422.

The University has held several periods of metanoia, including one that focused on race and another that focused on the Vietnam war.

Other members of the committee include Nirvana Beale, Melissa Canaperi, Liz Conklin, David Dellaquila, Elizabeth Helgason, Nick Mocciolo, Matt Romano, Johanna Spadory, and Michael Trueworthy, students; Derek Allinson, Suman Singha, Tom Terry, faculty; Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu, Janice Wilbur, Cara Workman, administration; Debbie Rubenstein, Hillel Foundation; the Rev. Richard Gross, St. Thomas Aquinas; Marty Berliner, Mansfield Town Manager; and co-chairs, Kurland; Amy Woodward, student; and Gary English, professor and head of drama.

Karen Grava