Day of UNsilence addresses LGBT rights

The Day of Silence has been going on since 1996 according to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network ,GLSEN. On April 13 in the morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the cafeteria, The Social Responsibility Committee hosted an event called the Day of UNsilence.

The purpose of the day is to bring awareness of the harassment and bullying of the LGBT community and to bring togetherness throughout the school through education on April 15. Usually in the Day of Silence, people devote to not talk the whole day in awareness.

This year the committee decided to do something different and be vocal.

“This coming up Friday, it’s usually the Day of Silence nationally and so we usually do something for that event every year but this year we decided to do the UNSilence so we could talk and have dialogue about it,” said Laura Roccucci, a 38-year-old anthropology major.

The main goal of the event was for students to see that there are people on campus who care and want to talk people through coming out, or just be a friend when in need. The committee wanted everyone to feel welcome and make sure that all students on campus never feel ashamed of who they are.

At the event they handed out fliers supplied by the Amnesty International-LGBT Ally Toolkit, encouraging people to speak out against harassment and bullying of others. The fliers talked about being open to other ways people live their lives and how gender is not just male and female.

The people who were hosting events were also wearing name tags with preferred pronouns of what they would like to be referred to by. The flier mentions never to assume someone’s pronoun and how it would make someone feel if a person ignored using someone’s preferred pronoun.

“It’s a really important way to make sure that our campus is a safe, open, tolerant and welcoming environment,” said English Professor Heather Hutcheson.

On the back side of a flier it gave an LGBT dictionary for people to “understand sex, gender, sexuality, and identity,” according to the glossary page compiled by the University of California, Los Angeles.

The main idea of the Day of UNSilence is to speak out for others who are being harassed or bullied, show tolerance and togetherness by being a friend.

“We want people to walk away with the sense that like, yeah it matters, it matters how I treat people,” said Anthropology Professor Anastasia Panagakos.