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The Blue & Gray Press | November 20, 2017

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PRISM takes a “day of silence”

By Emma Carone

Friday April 16, the students of PRISM (People Representing Individuals of Sexual Minorities) were silent.

It was a part of the event, the National Day of Silence, a day on which students across the nation take a vow of silence to bring attention to the discrimination that many individuals face due to their sexual orientation.

The goal of the event is to recognize the thousands of students that are silenced everyday by bullying, name-calling, and harassment.

During the Day of Silence, some students chose not to speak at all, in honor of those who are silenced on a daily basis.
However, even those who were unable to hold their silence all day also had the opportunity to participate in a ten-minute vigil that was held in Ball Circle from 11:50 to noon.

During that time, students were invited to come together and hold their silence for ten minutes as a way of presenting silence in a very loud way.

Throughout the ten minutes over 100 people came out to join hands in an effort to promote awareness.

The vigil was organized by PRISM, an on campus group dedicated to advocating for the rights and interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, as well as raise awareness of issues of sexuality and gender.

“Our goal is to create a safe place on campus,” President Brendon Bottle said.

Along with the vigil, PRISM also organized several other events during the day to promote the National Day of Silence.
From 4  to 6 p.m., PRISM held a breaking-the-silence social, where students were encouraged to speak about their experiences

The vow of silence served as an opportunity to recognize those who are still silent, while the social was a way to raise awareness and spread information about their rights.

During the social, several members of PRISM gave speeches that reminded students of the oppression and harassment that individuals experience every day.

The social also included a barbeque and music, drawing many students out to the field to play Frisbee, cards and enjoy the sun.

“It helped put a more positive spin on things” Paige Miller said.

She is a junior and member of PRISM.

After the social, the Day of Silence continued at 8 p.m. in the Underground, where PRISM hosted an open mic night where students read poetry, lyrics, and speeches, as well as sang songs.

The open mic night was an opportunity for student to express themselves and speak out for those previously found it difficult.

“It’s not about being silent, its about breaking silence” Bottle said.