Challenge yourself to “Live Below the Line”

This year’s Live Below the Line event will be held April 15-19. “Live Below the Line” consists of individuals who eat food that costs a total of $1.50 for five days.

Jessica Hurlbut, president of the Honor’s College Council Board of Directors, spoke about the event.

“Live Below the Line is important because it increases awareness about the world and especially local issues, helps promote thought and change, and it will allow students to become more self-aware and notice just how much they take for granted,” said Hurlburt.

It is an experience that allows a person to be placed in the shoes of others who are living in poverty today. An individual is allowed to eat anything, as long as they do not go over the total amount of the week.

Student Beverly Tan, historian and head of marketing and media, participated last year.

She described the event as being humbling and really showed a person what it was like to live in poverty.

Many faculty and staff members participated last year, including professor and honor College Board member, Dr. Brian Railsback. The Honors Board Committee is in charge of the event, with many groups coordinating specific sections. Each one plans it out according to the section they are in.

“Yes, faculty and staff are welcome to participate. Dr. Brian Railsback will be participating in this year’s event as he did last year. Last year, the Chancellor’s wife, Susan [Belcher], also participated in the initiative,” noted Hurlburt.

“Students can get involved by attending our information session on April 9 at 8 p.m. in the UC Multipurpose Room A.  Here, students will learn all about the initiative, how it works, and have any of their questions answered. This will also be where they learn about sponsorships and how to go about getting them,” said Hurlburt.

These sponsorships will be going to a good cause in places that are suffering from everyday poverty.

“The money the sponsors donate to those participating in Life Below the Line will go to Botswana. If students decide to participate, they can receive official letters about sponsorships and T-shirts at the Socratic Circle, the kick-start event of the week-long initiative, scheduled for April 15 at 7 p.m. in the UC Catamount Conference Room,” said Hurlbert.

The Socratic Circle will be a meeting, hosted by the Honors College for people who would like more information about the event.

Live Below the Line is still up for debate on whether it will continue next year.

 “This is not currently an annual event. It has occurred the last two years, and if the Honors College Board of Directors decides to hold it next year, it will be. The Honors Board facilitates what it students want to do. Perhaps it will become an annual thing, perhaps it won’t,” said Hurlbert.

For more information about last year’s Live Below the Line event, go to the Western Carolina website at Also, visit the official website of Live Below the Line at