Colleges start fundraiser to honor victim in a unique way


A war is going on in the College of Education, but it involves pennies, nickels and dimes.

The College of Education Student Advisory Committee organized a penny wars event in which the money being raised is going to the Feb. 14 Juliana Gehant Memorial Scholarship fund, said Margaret Myles, director of advising and student services for the College of Education.

The jars represent the majors of early childhood education, elementary education, special education, physical education and kinesiology.

“CSAC came up with the idea for undergraduate majors to try to get people involved in a good cause and support the college,” Myles said.

Shannon Lally, senior elementary education major and president of CSAC, said the committee decided to organize the penny wars to honor Gehant and to create a positive aspect to come from the tragedy.

“I attended an education class with Juliana, and seeing her passion for education should cause us, as future educators, to want to honor her and her dreams of becoming a teacher,” Lally said.

To participate, a student can place a penny, which counts for one point, into one of the jars, Myles said.

If an opponent places a silver coin or a bill in the jar, it causes negative points for that major, and the jar which collects the most points wins.

Myles said $215 has been collected so far, but she expects it to increase before the week ends.

“That’s why we have so much money: ‘cause so many people are like, ‘I want to win,'” Myles said.

The wars began on Feb. 16 and are being played until March 6. The jars are located in Gable 138, Anderson 221 and Graham 327.

Dan Rosenberg, senior special education major and member of CSAC, said this allows students to learn the value of money and to give back to the community.

“I think that there is a great source of pride between the colleges of education,” Rosenberg said. “People want to see their major at the top.”

Lally said the penny wars will be a yearly event to remember the tragedy and for future NIU students to remember what happened.

“I want them to remember and realize that they can take action so that an event like this may never happen again,” Lally said. “The penny war is our way of keeping these memories alive while feeling like we are making a difference.”