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- Trish Bates
You’ve heard of “Occupy Wall Street.” But you’ve probably never heard of “Occupy Fleece.”
It’s more of a party, than a protest.
On Jan. 17, the G. Allen Fleece Library at Columbia International University will open for the first time since a devastating fire in May 2009 closed the library for repairs and renovations. CIU students will celebrate the opening with “Occupy Fleece.” Students will camp out overnight in tents in a quad area outside the library and wake up to a celebration featuring music, games and an outdoor breakfast. At 7:30 the library will officially open with the blowing of a shofar, a ram’s horn used in ancient times to signal a celebration. The CIU mascot is the Ram.
CIU Residence Life Director Mike Thompson says the event is the brainchild of three sophomores: Challie Shaver, Jamie Baker and Michelle Miller.
“They were telling me how excited they are that the library is opening, and at first I didn’t think much about it.” Thompson said. “Then it dawned on me that as sophomores, they had never used the library because of the fire.”
A temporary building, dubbed by the students, “The Book Barn” has been used as the library since the fire.
Once the library opens for business at 7:30, students will enter and be given a ticket for a drawing for Kindles and gift cards.
The library is named in honor of the second president of CIU, G. Allen Fleece. It first opened in 1968.
The dedication of the renovated library is scheduled for Jan. 24 at 11:30 a.m. and will include members of the Fleece family.