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Students hold silent protest for LGBT rights

Marissa Ulrich and Jennifer Leyva participate in the National Day of Silence held April 15 at Sneaky Park. The protest, sponsored by the Rainbow Alliance, calls attention to the problem of bullying faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. / photo by David Bess

Christina Collins Burton
Arts Editor

Sara Montgomery
Staff Writer

On April 15, the University of La Verne’s Sneaky Park, a place usually filled with students talking and laughing, was the location of Rainbow Alliance’s Day of Silence demonstration.

On the National Day of Silence, hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community in their schools.

“The demonstration definitely gave Rainbow Alliance a chance to be out there in the spotlight,” Ana Esquer, Rainbow Alliance vice president, said. “We were able to be seen and heard even though it was a Day of Silence protest.”

To help those who were not speaking explain their silence, cards were passed out to explain the significance of the event.

The cards gave a short explanation of the event’s importance and asked the reader to excuse the person for not speaking.

“It was great to see students expressing their feelings with silence,” Spencer Contreras, sophomore business major, said. “The University has done great things with diversity and it is great to see students fighting for a cause.”

The Rainbow Alliance was also selling shirts in a variety of colors that said, “Gay? Fine by Me.” Students could buy the shirt for $10 and show their support for the LGBT population on and off campus.

“Bringing awareness for something that means so much and getting to hang out with my friends made it good fighting for a cause,” Anastasia Lomas, senior psychology major, said.

President of Rainbow Alliance Stephen Cundiff thought the event was a great display of what the organization is all about and was proud to provide a safe place to promote awareness and demonstrate the purpose of Rainbow Alliance.

“A lot of people were confused with what we were doing,” Cundiff said. “They would come up whispering and did their best to be respectful of what we were doing.”

In the past, Rainbow Alliance demonstrations have gotten negative responses from the student body and the community.

Now the campus embraces the LGBT community and students happily support the causes of the organization.

“The most important thing about events like this is to provide a way for the ULV LGBT community and allies to demonstrate their support and their beliefs on the issue,” said Cundiff. “The fact we usually have our events indoors made this event stand out; the more participants we have the louder our message is.”

The Rainbow Alliance has upcoming events students can attend to support the LGBT community. For more information on Rainbow Alliance’s events contact ana.esquer@laverne.edu.

Christina Collins Burton can be reached at christina.burton@laverne.edu.

Sara Montgomery can be reached at sara.montgomery@laverne.edu.

 

 

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