BISMARCK, ND - About 80 University of Mary students will experience the virtual realities of poverty, as students and faculty from the social work program host the second annual Poverty Simulation at the University of Mary. The simulation, to be held Nov. 15, from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., in Chick's Place, is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a poor family trying to survive from month to month.
Students will role-play the lives of low-income families - some newly unemployed; others, homeless; and others senior citizens, facing diverse challenges with differing resources. The stressful task of the "families" will be to provide for basic necessities such as food and shelter on a limited budget over the course of four 20-minute "weeks."
"This is a simulation, not a game," emphasizes Nancy Kleingartner, University of Mary associate professor of social work. "Its objective is to help people understand the complexities and frustrations of living in poverty day-to-day and to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income people. With a greater awareness of their impact, we can more effectively address the poverty issues in our community."
Deciding it is not enough to simply educate others about poverty this year human services students in the PACS student organization will also conduct a food drive for a community food pantry.