December 13, 2007

Bell Museum and FtN:FtU

On Wednesday, January 30th, the Bell Museum will be hosting the Focus the Nation Webcast in their auditorium. Following the Webcast there will be a discussion between a professor, someone in a green industry, and a student.

The Bell Museum isgoing to start advertising our event by contacting the Minnesota Daily and Radio K. We should do this to! Does anyone want to?

We'll update more once some details are resolved.

Meeting with the Bell Museum

Apologies for the late notice on this, but today at 1pm (in about 10 minutes) we'll be having a meeting with the Bell Museum, who also has a Focus the Nation organizing group.

We'll be working together on a presentation of the Webcast for the evening of the 30th.

Details to follow

December 10, 2007

Now We Have Six

Erick says that the dean of the Carlson School of Management sent an e-mail out to faculty on Friday, which puts us up to six schools!

Meeting Summary and Update

Friday's meeting was very quiet. We discussed the background and goals of Focus the Nation, and how the goals apply to our campus. We also came up with some ideas as to how to involve students -- we think that at the beginning of the spring semester we should start putting up flyers / posters so that students are aware of the project. We also think it would be a good idea to get a table in Coffman Memorial Union and hand out treats to get students involved. Now we have just the treat to do that!

This weekend we received an e-mail from CLIF Bar. CLIF Bar has been a partner and sponsor of Focus the Nation, and they are donating bars to be handed out to students! The bars will come with stickers which explain how students can get more involved with Focus the Nation, as well as a few details about a Focus the Nation / CLIF Mojo grant.

In order to get the bars, we need to reply by Friday the 14th. How many should we get?

Also, as of writing this, three more colleges have responded to last week's e-mail and have passed the word on to their department chairs. Our list is now:

  • College of Education and Human Development (Darlyne Bailey)
  • Institute of Technology (Steven Crouch)
  • CFANS (Al Levine)
  • College of Design (Tom FIsher)
  • College of Continuing Education (Mary Nichols)

We've also received an e-mail from Professor Efi Foufoula (Civil Engineering) who suggests that we have a campus-wide lecture, for both students and faculty, addressing global warming, in addition to the in-class discussions.

Any thoughts? Please e-mail or comment.

December 6, 2007

Focus and the UMN-TC Colleges

Today we sent out an e-mail to the dean (or deans, in one case) of every college/school of the UMN-TC asking for their help with Focus the Nation. Within two hours, we've already gotten two responses: Mary Nichols, dean of the College of Continuing Education; and Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design!

December 5, 2007

General Information Meeting

A general interesting meeting for Focus the Nation: Focus the U will be Friday, December 7th, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm in Amundson Hall, room 158.

Please leave a comment if you're going to attend so we know how many people to expect!

November 28, 2007

Focus the U Meeting

Tonight was a MESC meeting -- we talked about Powershift, the Presidential Climate Commitment, and more about Focus the Nation!

Some time next Friday (December 7th) we're going to have a general information meeting. I'll post again as soon as we've confirmed a time and a place.

If you're interested please leave a comment! We'd like to know about how many people are going to show up.

November 20, 2007

What is Focus the U?

What is Focus the U?

Focus the U is the Focus the Nation event here on the UMN campus.

Then, what is Focus the Nation?

Focus the Nation is an organization that is planning a national teach-in event for January 31st. The point of the teach-in is to educate people about global warming. Focus the Nation isn't just for colleges and universities, it's for elementary, middle, and high schools, businesses, places of worship, &c.

What's the point?

Global warming is a larger problem than you'd think. If we don't take a stand and do something within the next decade, the effects could be irreversible. For example: the oceans would rise 40 feet and Greenland would be lost, along with all coastal cities.

Yikes! What is Focus the Nation doing about this?

FtN is getting Americans involved by telling them what's going on. That's the main point of the teach-in. FtN is also encouraging people to speak with their congresspeople and representatives to get them involved, too.

What is Focus the U doing?

FtU's goal is to get University professors to address the issue of global warming during their classes on January 31st. And we mean all university professors -- not just those in IT. Global warming affects everyone and everything, so subjects like economics, history, law, political science, English, art, mathematics, computer science, sociology, and psychology (and many more!) are just as important as chemistry, biology, and environmental science.

We'd also like to get the local community involved -- and local politicians, too! Global warming is a hot topic in political races these days (pun intended). Wouldn't you want your mayor, senator, representative, and president to acknowledge this problem and do something about it?

What can I do?

First, read more about the event at and get a good idea of the major goals.

Next, leave a comment on this blog or pop us an e-mail. We can answer any questions you have, get you up to speed on what we've done so far, and point you in the right direction.

Then, talk to your professors. All of them! (They like it when students talk to them!) Explain to them the basics of FtN/FtU and let them know that you'd like the class to discuss global warming on January 31st. Make sure you know some example topics from the model teach-in list so you can explain to your art professor what painting has to do with global warming. Let us know when you've gotten professors to commit to the teach-in so we can send them an e-mail with more information.

If you want to get even more involved (which we would love), please tell us! The UMN is a huge institution and we need all the help we can get.

We're going to keep this blog updated as often as we can so you know how Focus the U is going. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave a comment on this blog.