The Catholic Newman Community will sponsor a charity soccer tournament, the Newman Cup 2007, on Saturday, March 31 at Edwin Fauver Stadium. The tournament will benefit and raise awareness about migrant worker communities in Upstate New York.

“We wanted to replicate signature events that the fraternities and sororities put on, as well as focus on a local cause and engage the student body,” Director of the Newman Cup 2007, member of the Newman Community and sophomore John Kreckel said.

The Newman Community chose to focus on the plight of migrant workers last spring. Kreckel cites that there are close to 25,000 migrant workers from Latin America and Mexico who live within half an hour of the Rochester campus. As immigration is considered a hot topic in politics these days, the Newman Community wanted to “put politics aside and put a human face on the issue,” Kreckel said. The group plans to visit La Casa, which is a temporary living center in Sodus, NY and to whom they are donating the money raised, before the tournament.

“A particular link exists between the University of Rochester undergraduate community and the migrant population,” Chaplain Peter Dwyer said. “Both are very transient. And when one pauses to examine our hosts, whether they are the University staff or faculty or even the greater Rochester community, any individual will recognize numerous elements of disparity between the quality of services offered to each group. This is only part of what we are trying to highlight by hosting this tournament.”

Dwyer accompanied Kreckel and junior Jason Ludwig to a leadership conference at the University of Notre Dame over the summer, which is where most of the planning for the event took place. The decision to host a soccer tournament was due in part to the FIFA World Cup, the popularity of soccer in Latin America as well as the popularity of the sport on campus.

On Saturday, teams will play the opening rounds from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., which consist of three 12-minute games played in “Round Robin” style. Teams are made up of five to eight players, and the cost of registration is $25 per team. The Newman Community will also be selling T-shirts at a cost of $5 for participants and $10 for all others.

Following the first half of the tournament, there will be Salsa lessons taught by SALSA in Hirst Lounge from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. A documentary on migrant workers crossing the border will be featured in the Gowen Room, as well as guest speaker Father Bob Kreckel, part of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The tournament will resume at 4:30 and continue until 9 p.m. with a championship game “under the lights.”

“I am very, very encouraged by this event and believe that the students participating are making a great statement about the integrity of the University and its commitment to our Rochester community and those who are forgotten in our midst,” Dwyer said.

The Newman Community has been gaining support from the UR community for the Newman Cup, with Sigma Chi Fraternity contributing food for the events. There will be tables in Wilson Commons until March 28, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to register for the tournament. Sigma Delta Tau Sorority and Sigma Epsilon Fraternity will help with tabling and UR Hip Hop will perform in their vicinity to draw people. Other organizations, such as Delta Gamma Sorority, D’Lions and Grassroots have pledged to form teams for the tournament. Even small businesses, such as Mt. Hope Diner, Baker Street’s Bakery and Mark’s Pizzeria will support the Cup.

Although there will be trophies and gift certificates presented to the winners of the Newman Cup, the Newman Community does not see that as the purpose of the tournament.

“It’s another event on campus which will bring together a variety of diverse people that is beyond themselves – they’re not coming to win a trophy, they’re coming to do something for someone else,” Director of the Newman Community Father Brian Cool said.

Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.

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