25 November 2015

Safety on Campus & Spiritual Art Show

Wow, this week truly has been intense and there was no real break between this week and the previous one. To be honest, I'm running on fumes and am very much looking forward to having a brief respite from school.

As many others have reported, this weekend came with the terrifying news that the safety of our sanctuary on Palatine Hill has been grossly violated, not once, but twice. A Rwandan international student was attacked by three white men in what appears to be a racist assault following the Yik Yak threats of last week. Within the next 24 hours, another student, this time an anonymous transgender student, was also attacked. With these attacks, what I and many students once considered a safe campus became marred by fear and anxiety.

But I don't want to focus on that, because what gives me much greater emotion - specifically pride and hope - is seeing how the student body has jumped to get involved and to help make this campus feel safer for targeted students. Many students off-campus have offered their cars and homes to students who needed somewhere to stay. Over 400 students have volunteered to be companions to walk with students of color, or any other student who may be feeling scared and vulnerable walking alone. Many students have gotten involved with pressuring YikYak and Facebook to release information or block harassing content regarding racist content. Other have actively joined with Cathy Busha (our interim Director of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement) and Harold McNaron (Director of Student Leadership and Service) in developing spaces and workshops for white allyship training. These students and their unwillingness to give in to fear or to settle for anything less than a truly safe and fair campus experience are the people who are truly inspiring me in this time of crisis.

As I've said, I'm quite tired, so I'll end my post here. But I'll leave you some pictures from around campus, as well as from the 2nd Annual Spiritual Art Show, which I hosted last week.

Posters around campus in solidarity with black students during this scary time.

I work Saturday nights at Maggie's Cafe on campus, so I couldn't join my friends at the Fall Ball dance, but we did enjoy ourselves at a delicious dinner at our favorite restaurant - Thai Peacock.

Programs from the 2nd Annual Spiritual Art Show: Divine Transmutation

Stamm Dining Room made an awesome gallery filled with our many art submissions.

Semper, a campus acapella group, performing during our opening reception.

One piece that I submitted: "Strangers in my skin; a history"

Another piece of mine: "Entropy (for all at last returns to the sea)"

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions about my post, from safety on campus, to the art show I hosted.