What started as a class project quickly turned into a mini-movement at Burnaby’s Simon Fraser University. And no one is more surprised than Rochelle Tucker, the professor of health science behind it all.
As Tucker tells it, each year of the four years she has taught her first year health science course focusing on AIDS in Africa, students would ask “What can we do? We have to do something.”
This year, the light bulb went on when she first read about the A Dare to Remember campaign in a Stephen Lewis Foundation newsletter. “I immediately thought ‘student engagement’,” she says.
Engagement is an understatement. Her students were mobilized.
When Tucker dared them to participate, they agreed, given that she would, too.
But that wasn’t the extent of it. Students outside of the class were inspired, too. Even professors signed up to participate, with one Dare resulting in a meeting of the deans— all of them attired in clown costumes.
Across campus, on any given day, students could be found busking, dancing a tango, selling 400 homemade cookies and jumping into the ocean.
Incidentally, Tucker stayed true to her Dare—dressing up as a superhero every day of the week. (She has been Wonder Woman, Incredible Hulk, Super Ro (a play on her name) and Captain Condom.)
And her fund-raising efforts have also been somewhat heroic. What started as an admirable goal of $4,500 has been surpassed three times. And now that they’ve passed their $15,000 goal, the sky’s the limit.
“We want to raise as much as we possibly can,” she says.