Campus News in Brief

APhiO to hold wheelchair race

In honor of community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega’s National Service Week (Nov. 4 to 10), Carnegie Mellon’s chapter of APhiO will host “Wheels of Glory,” a manual wheelchair relay race, on Saturday. The theme of this year’s week is “helping children with disabilities,” and the money raised from the event will go to Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the largest non-profit organization supporting those with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic neuromuscular disease that affects the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement.

In teams of four, participants will compete in a relay race using manual wheelchairs (wheelchairs will be provided). Those who wish to play or watch should meet in the Morewood parking lot Saturday at 3 p.m. Registration is $10 per team. Teams can register at the tables outside Doherty Hall.

The event was organized by sophomore mechanical engineering major Heather Tomko, who has SMA.

“I wanted to do a fundraiser that would serve children with disabilities, but also one that would be fun and would get as many people as possible involved, since the cause is one that is so important to me,” Tomko said. “And since people have been asking me if they could drive my wheelchair for as long as I can remember, I thought that people would have a blast with a wheelchair race of their own.”

Those who cannot attend Wheels of Glory but would like to support the cause can make a donation to Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy through APhiO or directly through the organization’s website, (

Students discuss local government

Last week, more than 50 students from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management and the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs competed in the 2007 Local Government Case Competition sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to debate the best way for human services to be administered in the future. The students worked together in 13 teams to develop a set of solutions and presented their ideas to the judges, local government, foundation, and business leaders.

Case Competition administrators determined the makeup of each team in order to ensure that they were interdisciplinary and included students from various backgrounds. Participants debated a local government issue and were advised to confront the problem as government or business leaders would. Each team devised and presented an appropriate solution based on the given information. The first-place team received $3000; the second-place team received $1500.

According to the Department of Human Services, the goals of the competition were to enable students to use their creativity and knowledge to confront and solve issues in the public sector, and increase students’ awareness of opportunities in the local government.

The competition was co-funded by the Human Services Integration Fund.