`Up With People’ organization goes down

By Linsey Heiser
February 1, 2001

by Linsey Heiser
news editor

The “common beat” of the drum will beat no longer. At of the end of 2000, the 35-year-old Up With People organization has suspended its current operations because of financial difficulties. The worldwide program gained over $28 million in revenue, although having over $31.5 million in expenses.

The decision to stop the performances was made on Wednesday, Dec. 6 by a unanimous vote of 42 board members from Japan, North America and Europe.

Over 650 students involved in last year’s Up With People production were notified of the suspension as they were finishing up tours in New York and France in mid-December. Also notified were 180 students selected to participate in next year’s program. Another 262 worldwide employees were notified that their jobs would soon be eliminated.

The purpose of the organization was to provide a multi-cultural leadership program for youth around the world. In 2000, the students involved in the musical with the theme of “A Common Beat” performed in over 500 cities in 24 countries and completed over 100,000 hours of community service.

Up With People made an appearance at Cabrini on Friday, Oct. 13 performing in the Dixon Center. The students involved represented the cultures of Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. The program was well-attended and many students and faculty were impressed by the performance. Up With People helped to promote one of Cabrini’s main goals: promoting cultural awareness.

Katie Mirek, a senior, got to know a member of the group, Bernie, very well while he stayed here at Cabrini. She feels sad for the members of the organization. “I would feel heartbroken. It seemed like it was a hope for them. For my host student, it was like his family.”

According to chairman of the board of Up With People, Tom Badciong, the future is not over for the organization. “In order to resume regular operations, it will require significant restructuring. We will be considering all options,” Badciong said

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Linsey Heiser

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