Professors Pied for Invisible Children

January 25, 2010
by Blair Ault

As finals were underway at the end of the Fall 2009 semester, Honors College students and staff were treated to a unique outlet for relieving stress. Both professors who teach in the Human Situation course and student services staff members graciously donated their faces and time to the UH chapter of Invisible Children for an afternoon of pie-throwing by students, staff, and fellow professors. Participants could purchase a pie for five dollars to be thrown from ten feet, or ten dollars to be thrown from five feet, to increase their chances of accuracy and satisfying pie splatter. Many students and professors opted to use a proxy throwing arm to make sure their pie was put to good use, often employing the longer arms of senior student Andrew Thomas who was able to 'place' the pie upon most of the targeted faces. 

One of the guiding forces behind this operation is Joshua Ellis, president of the University of Houston chapter of Invisible Children, who played referee to some of the devious tactics used to throw pies. Ellis is instrumental in the functioning of Invisible Children, which is a social, political, and global movement that responds to the humanitarian crisis in Uganda. Through the Schools for Schools project, the chapter, housed in The Honors College, is supporting the Pabbo Secondary School in Northern Uganda.

Ellis is a diligent leader of the group, supporting the cause in his extracurricular time: “I was accidentally dragged into it in high school, but as I began working in the group, I realized how serious the crisis is and how able we are as students in America to help it.” Invisible Children is one of the more active student organizations in The Honors College: The group meets at least once a week, hosts movie nights, and participates in activities encouraged by the National campaign like having its members wear white shirts with red Xs to symbolize the lost children in Uganda. 

As the last pie was purchased by Dr. Harvey to be tossed on to the waiting smile of Dr. Mikics to repay him for earlier aggressions, grudges and rivalries were settled in the Honors College Commons, leaving a mess of whipped cream, cherry syrup, and over $400 to be given to the Pabbo Secondary school. Sophomore Joehan Garcia was especially impressed by the coordination of an event that entertained and solidified the camraderie of the Honors community plus "It was incredible to pie Josh Ellis and release some pent up feelings."

With more than thirty members in the UH chapter, Invisible Children has developed a strong presence in the Honors community, and will continue creating unique fundraising opportunities for the Schools for Schools project.