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Tip Sheet for the week of Sept. 12, 2011

RELEASED: Sept. 12, 2011

Story/Photo Idea
Tibetan Buddhist monks will be on campus this week to create a mandala sand painting, which is a sacred cosmogram used as an object of contemplation. Its creation from colored sand is one of the most exquisite artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days to form a mandala to purify and heal the environment and its inhabitants. A series of activities led by the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will begin with a noon ceremony today (Sept. 12). During the ceremony, the lamas will consecrate the Skylight Lounge area in Davies Center (where they will construct the mandala) using chanting, music and mantra recitation. Manjushri Mandala (Buddha for Wisdom) is the mandala that will be created at UW-Eau Claire. The monks will begin the exhibit by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform. On the following days they will lay the colored sands. Each monk will hold a traditional metal funnel called a chakpur while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The vibration will cause the sands to flow like liquid onto the platform. People may watch its construction and members of the university community can join in the creation of a community mandala. The monks will work on the mandala until 6 p.m. Monday, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Friday. A closing ceremony will begin at noon Friday, Sept. 16, in the Skylight Lounge. In keeping with tradition, the completed mandala will be destroyed as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. To fulfill the function of healing, the monks will give half of the sand to the audience and the remainder will be carried and released into the river. A lecture and discussion titled "The Symbolism of the Sand Mandala" will be presented at noon Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Davies Theatre. The Mystical Arts of Tibet tour also will include an Artists Series performance "Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in Zorn Arena. News media (reporters, photographers and videographers) are welcome to cover the activities throughout the week. If you have questions, contact Jennifer Brockpahler, senior coordinator for arts and special events, at 715-836-2787 or brockpjl@uwec.edu.

Campus Expert
A series of interviews with Dr. Justin Patchin, associate professor of criminal justice and internationally known expert on cyberbullying, is featured on CBS News' 48 Hours website. In the interviews, Patchin provides information parents can use to help their children deal with issues related to bullying.  You can see the interviews at www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7380638n&tag=cbsnewsVideoArea. Patchin also will be interviewed this week by CBS radio. You can reach Dr. Patchin at patchinj@uwec.edu or find more information about his research on his cyberbullying website at http://www.cyberbullying.us/.

Story Idea
Deb Freund, associate lecturer of the biology, will discuss prairie ecosystems at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in the commons room of Towers North residence hall on upper campus. "Making a Prairie: Easy Once You Know How!" is part of "Trash Talks," a new campus lecture series on sustainability. Freund will discuss the impact of agriculture on prairies, which has caused a decrease in habitat for many native birds and insects. She'll talk about how people can put some prairie back, whether they live in a town or in the country.

Story/Photo Idea
Numerous businesses, organizations (such as neighborhood associations and churches) and city departments will be on campus this week to interact with students. The university will host Connect! from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, on the Central Campus Mall (rain site: Council Fire Room, Davies Center). The annual event helps students connect with Chippewa Valley businesses and services, and gives retailers an opportunity to connect with student consumers.

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