This past December, a small coalition of Syracuse University faculty and members of the Central New York interreligious community joined 6,000 people from around the world at the 1999 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Cape Town, South Africa. The assembly was only the third such international, interfaith gathering that had taken place in more than a century.
      The event—sponsored by the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions of Chicago— featured more than 700 presentations, workshops, seminars, and performances representing “the full spectrum of humanity and its challenges.” Among SU’s presenters were religion department chair James Wiggins and law professor Richard Schwartz. “All over the world, religion is too often used as a justification for antagonism, cruelty, and murder,” Schwartz says. “The interĐelationships between religions should be, and can be, a force that creates greater understanding, trust, and unprecedented opportunities to create a better society. That is what the parliament is all about.”


Students Offering Service (S.O.S.), an organization affiliated with Hendricks Chapel, hosted its fourth annual Share the Warmth blanket drive this past winter, collecting blankets before the Thanksgiving break and during February. “It’s such a simple concept when you think about it,” says project co-chair Emily Borland ’00, a Remembrance Scholar and environmental design/interiors major in The College for Human Development. “There are cold people in this world who need to know that people care about them.”
blankets       Such caring resulted in the donation of 310 blankets and more than $500 this past winter—nearly 100 more blankets than the 1998-99 drive received. As part of the 1999-2000 effort, S.O.S. set up a blanket donation receptacle at the Kahunaville restaurant in the Carousel Center. Blankets were distributed to such local organizations as the Refugee Resettlement Group, the Samaratan Center, Catholic Charities, and the Migrant Farm Workers Association. Fifty blankets were given to the resettlement group for distribution to 11 Cuban families that arrived in Syracuse in January.
      Introduced at SU, Share the Warmth has now spread to other upstate campuses, including Le Moyne and Cazenovia colleges.

For the first time in 10 years, undergraduate enrollment at Syracuse University—as well as total enrollment—has increased.
      The number of undergraduate students for academic year 1999-2000, 10,685, is up 1.8 percent from last year’s 10,491. The total number of full- and part-time students on all University campuses—including Main Campus, University College, the Division of International Programs Abroad, and extended and branch campuses—is 18,556, which is 261 more than last year. For fall 1999, 2,752 freshmen and 318 transfers enrolled. The freshman enrollment showed a 6 percent increase over the previous year.
      “This modest increase is significant because it is the first upward trend since fall 1989,” says Thomas F. Cummings Jr., who recently retired as vice president for enrollment management and continuing education.
      The increase in undergraduate students also reflects improved retention within the University. “The students are having their expectations met to a higher degree,” Cummings says. “They feel very strongly about the quality of the education they receive here.”

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