I’ve just spent the last hour or so working with origami all-star Nehemiah, the veteran of the Fall 2014 origami course who is largely responsible for the success so far of the Plate House refugee shelter. Nehemiah and I met today to make sure we know what in the hell we’re doing when it comes to putting this thing together. It turns out that we do know what the hell we’re doing, though it took us some time to figure it out. After all, hell has many circles, or, in our case, three layers. After 45 minutes of fumbling and sticking numerous little cardboard flaps through equally numerous and even littler cardboard slots, we managed to piece together one copy of the base unit from which the shelter is built. I’m very happy that we didn’t try to fudge our way through it on Wednesday when all eyes, including those of UNC President Margaret Spellings, will be upon us.

Speaking of President Spellings: since my last post on this blog (many thanks for the reposts! It is now my most-read post ever), Ms. Spellings has come out with a clarification of the memo I linked to previously:

You all would be mistaken if you thought we were not concerned about the kind of chill this is having as it relates to the climate, the culture, the goodwill that we attempt to engender on university campuses as it relates to free expression, diversity and ability to recruit students and faculty of all types from all over the world.

Spellings makes clear in the News & Observer article I’ve linked to above that she does not support HB2 and was looking to offer a quick down ‘n’ dirty reference on the law for the sake of the individual campuses. Hmmm. I still plan to talk with her about the matter when we meet on Wednesday.

There will be no meeting with the UNC Board of Governors, however. The BoG had originally planned to meet on our campus, but on facing the threat of multiple large-scale protests organized by off-campus groups, they pulled out and decided to meet in Chapel Hill instead, so that their presence “will not result in campus disruption at a critical time in the academic year” (email from our Chancellor’s office, sent 54 minutes ago).

Meanwhile, we’ll forge ahead with our Plate House plans. I’ve produced a one-pager on the project and on the basics of refugee crises around the world, so that passersby might learn a little more about the shelter.



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