More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Guest Post: Students at Radford University take a stand against bullying for #SpiritDay
Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 6:27pm by Brendan Davis, Digital Content Manager at GLAAD
The following post was written by Spirit Day ambassador Jordan Addison:
The students of Virginia’s Radford University are taking a stand and letting the community know that they don’t like bullying. After several students were bullied because of their sexual orientation, the students have banded together to create an event that is sure to make the bullies second guess their actions.
On October 19, the students of RU will be hosting an Anti-Bullying Rally, fittingly on Spirit Day. The event is being held on the University Campus beginning at 4 PM. The campus’ central lawn will be decorated with purple balloons, tables, and banners. Student volunteers will also wear purple, the color of Spirit Day.
The students plan to combine fun times with serious ones. There will be several inflatable sports games, and inflatable boxing ring, an obstacle course, as well as carnival games. Speakers from as far away as Minnesota are coming to speak about the effects of bullying, and what we can do to prevent it.
The event came to my mind as a way to use my positive publicity as the Spirit Day Ambassador to bring awareness to our campus. However, I couldn’t have done everything on my own. A multitude of student organizations stood up to back this idea and make it a reality. The Student Government Association, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Sigma Tau, Sociology Club, The Gay-Straight Alliance, Spectrum, Safe Zone, Men of Standards, La Sociedad Hispanica, and the Peer Health Educators are sponsoring the event. Each organization will be volunteering to make sure things run smoothly, as well as setting up tables to talk about the effects that bullying can have. The tables will be stocked with statistics, friendly faces, and pamphlets ranging from where to go if you’re being bullied to how to report bullying.
Purple ribbons will be passed out all day, as well as raffles for purple shirts and banners. Purple flowers will be available for purchase. Local businesses have donated raffle prizes, with all proceeds going to programs to put a stop to bullying.
Occasions in which college students band together for a cause are not so common, especially at a small school of 10,000. In the face of adversity, these students have pulled off the impossible, all in less than three weeks. I’ve never been more proud of my student body. Such a diverse group of students coming together for something so controversial makes one feel the warmth of hope seeping through all the doubt.