The creators of the Campus Community Solidarity Day know what brings communities together: free t-shirts and the chance to meet a friend before the school year ends.
Students from several campus organizations and centers will join together today in the quad to promote diversity and celebrate cultures on campus for the first annual Campus Community Solidarity Day. Organizer Tatiana Bush said that of the many reasons for having the event, hers was one in response to hate crimes.
“This is about ending the year on a good note, bringing the campus together and being about something other than the negative things that have happened this year,” said Bush, a junior political science major and intern at the Student Recruitment and Retention Center (SRRC).
The event will feature t-shirts that participants can decorate with the theme of community in mind, in addition to free body piercing, ice cream and prizes. Attendees will also be encouraged to sign a pledge promising to respect – and continue to respect – all communities on campus.
“We’ll talk about the events that happened this year and band together as a community,” said Shauna Madison, a junior sociology and African American studies major. “Making t-shirts is a great way to do this. We’ll actually be creating something together.”
Collaborators and contributors include the SRRC, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, the Cross Cultural Center, the Black Student Union, the Women’s Resources and Research Center, the Outreach Assembly, National Council of Negro Women and the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission.
“Basically everyone we could find that wanted to be a part of it will be there,” Bush said. “We’ll be accentuating on all that we have here [at UC Davis].”
For many communities, the event will be particularly meaningful in lieu of a traumatic year. Sheri Atkinson, director of the LGBTRC said that members of the LGBTIQ community faced many different kinds of hateful acts, but that an event with many campus groups would contribute public awareness and acceptance.
“This is a chance to show that we’re going to stay strong and come together as multiple communities,” Atkinson said.
Madison mirrored this sentiment, stating that a large event with many campus communities could lead to improvements.
“Knowing how the community is affected could change the way people treat others,” she said. “It won’t change people’s lives dramatically, but small change can lead to bigger change in the future.”
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.