As this semester barrels towards an end with a series of papers and finals, we have had a couple of events that have really epitomized a few important aspects of my college life.
The first was the Equality Rally last Wednesday. QuEST and a series of co-sponsors sold 1000 shirts of different colors to students, faculty, staff, and administrators. I bought mine early–this is important to me, and I wanted to be able to pick my color and size–and it was so inspiring throughout the day to see more and more members of our Lafayette community walking around in these shirts promoting equality for members of the LGBTQ community.
After classes, we gathered on the steps of Skillman Library, organized into the colors of the rainbow, for a picture. The sight of people streaming across the quad with their friends, colleagues, and sometimes even children, all dressed in these shirts, was honestly beautiful. I know we have plenty of allies and supporters and members of the LGBTQ community on campus, but it was so wonderful to see everyone gather together and make such a loud, and colorful, statement of support. Afterwards, although I had to leave for work, plenty of people gathered on the steps of Farinon to discuss their experiences and the future.
Two days later, Lafayette’s Amnesty International hosted their fourth annual Jamnesty: Community for a Cause event on the Quad. As Amnesty raised funds and awareness for New Light, a nonprofit organization based in India that seeks to end human trafficking and prostitution through education, legal, etc. services to women, different clubs and organizations gathered around tables on the Quad.
Student music and dance groups performed by Skillman, the school provided hot dogs, funnel cakes, and fries, and the Quad was packed with students. Jamnesty always seems one of the fastest ways to bring the entire campus together. With such absolutely beautiful weather, the Quad looked like a scene from out of a movie–active, engaged, enthusiastic college students gathering together in the May sunshine. Because my friends and I were sitting near the speakers, making it difficult to hear each other, we joked that we were living in a ’90s movie montage about happy college students, with music playing over our words.
And finally, this past Sunday, I attended the Hoff Awards ceremony. The awards are in honor of Aaron O. Hoff, the first African-American student to attend Lafayette, as well as the student who blew the horn to bring the college’s first students and faculty to class in 1832.
A few weeks ago I sat in a room for six hours with a handful of other students to review nominations for the awards, which include organization, service, and individual awards, and then on Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the event. Each award was presented by another individual. Some of these were so touching that presenters cried, or that the presenters made audience members murmur and sniff, but all of them were inspiring. I had not attended the Hoff Awards in the past, but I left on Sunday evening excited about our campus and eager to keep doing what I love here…even if that means I have to get through exams and final papers first.