Tina Kasin Online Editor
LIU Post’s Newman Club, a part of the catholic community, hosted this year’s Day of Silence event on Thursday, April 18. Day of Silence is a national event that calls to awareness discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in schools.
Students of all ages take a vow of silence to encourage schools and peers to address the problem of anti gay/lesbian behavior. The silence illustrates the effect of bullying and harassment on students, according to the LGBT Community and the Newman Club.
Erik Raessler, a senior Physics major and former president of the Newman Club, explained that the Newman club is an open- minded organization.
The club wants to stand up for social issues, and create awareness and solidarity. The Catholic community tends to be more conservative about the gay and lesbian community, so the fact that the club, which is Catholic, chose to host this day was a bit contradictory, Raessler said. He noted that hosting the Day of Silence was Father Ted Brown’s idea, and then it was discussed at several meetings after that.
Often on this day, you’ll see people with duct-tape on their mouths, and Raessler said he saw a couple of people with their mouths sealed. However, since students are often forced to speak when they’re in college, it’s more difficult to do it that way, he said. “It’s usually the kids who did it in high school who’ll do it in college as well.”
Sixty-three people signed up for the event this year. They tried to get a speaker to come talk to Post students. However, the speaker, whom they didn’t name, cancelled and they didn’t have enough time to find somebody else. They tried to gather a few people to eat lunch on the Great Lawn in silence, but due to the bad weather and busy schedules, not that many students showed up.
Erik Palacios, a junior Biology major, said, “I think it’s a good way of showing people about the LGBT Community and other people who are too scared to speak out about who they really are.”
This year’s planning of the event, according to Sally-Ann Gaughan, a Newman club member and a senior Early Childhood Education major, is a skeleton for next year’s event, as this year’s didn’t turn out as they hoped it would. The members are going to try to start planning it during the fall, and hopefully, she said, it will be a success.