During the month of March, Big Blue Nation is usually focused on the men’s basketball team as they advance through the NCAA Tournament. This year is no different. As the Wildcats are two games away from a historical, undefeated season, Big Blue Nation has been following the team the entire way. With the Final Four and Championship games this weekend, BBN is still showing how great the fan base is by focusing their attention on something other than basketball. This Thursday night, April 2, the UK’s campus will have buildings lit up with blue lights. It may appear the school is simply showing school spirit for the men’s basketball team. Though it happens to be our schools color, UK and Big Blue Nation will illuminate buildings with blue lights for “Light It Up Blue,” which is to support Autism Awareness. The College of Education’s Student Council for Exceptional Children will be hosting the event at UK’s Taylor Education Building from 7-8 p.m. “Light It Up Blue” is an international campaign launched by the leading autism science and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks.
The first time the University of Kentucky became involved was two years ago. Students decided that lighting up Memorial Hall, one of the universities most iconic landmarks, would be the best way to show the universities support. This year, students and the university will be lighting up not only Memorial Hall, but also the College of Education’s Taylor Education Building, Central Halls I and II, Haggin Hall and Woodland Glen 1 residence hall. A recent report from the Centers of Disease Control and Preventions estimates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders as 1 in 68 for children ages 6-17. Of course Big Blue Nation is highly anxious for this weekends basketball games, but until then, one of the biggest fan bases is focusing their attention on raising awareness to help children suffering from this disease.