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 focusthenation.org 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.