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Oxford's filibuster kid
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Khurram Dara, Oxford College of Emory University freshman, wants to raise money for his school as well as those still reeling from 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Dara, a political science major from Buffalo, N.Y., has devised an interesting way of drawing attention to his cause - he will attempt to speak for more than 24 hours and break Strom Thurmond's filibuster world record.

He has several reasons why he chose filibustering as his method.

"One, I don't think people appreciate good oratory anymore," Dara said.

Dara said the art of public speaking has declined slowly since the middle of the 20th century.

He also feels the record held by Strom Thurmond, a deceased senator from and governor of South Carolina, is a blemish on the history books. Thurmond gained the record time while attempting to foster debate blocking the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

"You can't change history," Dara said, "but you can change the future."

Dara hopes to raise at least $2,500 from local donations and contributions from businesses back in Buffalo who have pledged amounts per hour.

He will speak about hot-button issues for the 2008 presidential campaign such as health care reform and changes to Social Security. He promised not to read from the phone book.

Kroger will provide refreshments for Dara, who will continue to speak even while stuffing his face. A friend will film Dara's venture, even while he is in the restroom, to prove his continuous speech.

The filibuster will begin at 1 a.m. Saturday in front of Oxford's dining hall.

Dara said the timing was strategy he learned from a friend.

"The last time when my friend did it for a school project," Dara said, "we noted getting through the night after speaking all day was very difficult."

The event will include items to be raffled off, as well as the sale of maroon bracelets with the words "Katrina relief" on them.

Money Dara raises will likely go to the Bush Clinton Hurricane Relief Fund.

He also hopes he will gain experience and meet contacts who can help him with any future fundraising efforts.

"The goal is not really trying to get into the book," Dara said, "but rather to raise the money."