Around 200 students at a Christian university in Indiana are spending four days this week living in a cardboard village to experience and highlight the plight of the world's homeless population.
Since Monday and until this Thursday, the scores of Taylor University students will be abstaining from technology and showers while wearing the same clothes and living on a diet of rice and beans, according to Dr. Michael Jessup, a sociology professor at the Upland, Ind., institution.
"To truly understand poverty, social injustice, and oppression is wisdom, and provides a window into the heart of God," explained Jessup ahead of this week's Social Justice Week '09.
"I want our students to realize that social justice week is not just something we do for fun, not something we add to the gospel, but a biblical mandate," he told the school's news service. "As Christians, we are required to love justice, encourage the oppressed, demonstrate love to our neighbor, and preach the good news to the poor."
Since 2007, Taylor University has been holding its "Social Justice Week," a five-day, campus-wide experience with multiple activities designed to engage the Taylor community in the exploration of critical societal issues.
Other events scheduled for this week include nightly speakers and a poverty simulation designed to help participants grasp the challenges facing low-income families.