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Stanford students' quilt panel to memorialize victims of AIDS

STANFORD - Jenny Maxwell's mother always told her that the ability to sew would come in handy someday.

Now, as the Stanford University student stitches together a panel for the famous Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, she fully understands her mother's point.

"It's a fantastic project," said Maxwell, an American Studies major and AIDS awareness volunteer. "I think other quilt panels have been made in memory of Stanford individuals who died of AIDS and HIV [infection], but I believe this is the first that has tried to involve the whole Stanford community."

The idea for the quilt panel began when Maxwell and other students enrolled in Project SAVE, a course for Stanford AIDS Volunteer Educators, started to make plans for this year's AIDS Awareness Week at Stanford (March 1-7).

The students had hoped to obtain panels of the original Names Project quilt from San Francisco for temporary display on campus. However, when that proved infeasible because of security concerns for the quilt, the students opted instead to fashion their own panel. They staged a contest to solicit design ideas.

Sophomore Chris Levinson agreed to chair the quilt project, while Maxwell - the only student in the group who knows how to sew - volunteered to put the 9-by-12-foot panel together.

She plans to do most of the handwork in her room at Theta Chi house, then take the whole bundle home with her to Colorado Springs for final assembly the weekend of Feb. 27-28.

Her mother, Sherry, a home economics teacher in the local high school, has been more than happy to help. "She's a wonderful resource," Maxwell said. "Whenever I run into problems, I call her."

The colorful winning design, by freshman Raj Sandhu, depicts a large tree surrounded by three people under the words "Stanford Remembers." On the white border, Stanford community members will have an opportunity to write the names of anyone they have lost to AIDS or HIV disease.

People who stop by to see the panel at the AIDS information table in White Plaza from noon to 1 p.m. March 1-5 also can purchase for a $2 donation small red ribbons that they can stitch onto the tree themselves.

Other AIDS Awareness Week Activities planned by the students include a candlelight march beginning at 6:45 p.m. Monday, March 1, in the Inner Quad; a lecture on "Women and AIDS" from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, in Tresidder Union's Oak West Room; a lecture by ACT-UP representatives from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, in Tresidder's Oak West Room; a White Plaza "die-in" at noon Thursday, March 4, in Oak West; a two-day conference on peer health education March 5-6; and a fund-raising dance beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 6, in the Lagunita Courtyard.

Proceeds from the dance and other events will benefit ELLIPSE Peninsula AIDS Services in San Mateo County and the ARIS Project in Santa Clara County. For more information, and for details on the peer health education conference, call the Stanford Health Promotion Program at (415) 723-0821.



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