SAGA Club Observes Day of Silence

Layla Wright, Staff Writer

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The Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) club organized campus observation of the nation-wide Day of Silence in support of the LGBT+ community on April 27.

According to senior club president Athya Uthayakumar, the purpose of the event was to demonstrate how members of this community feel. “Day of Silence promotes awareness and activism for LGBT+ issues. It asks students to stay silent in the way that LGBT+ students are silenced due to social stigma and erasure in classroom discussions,” she said.

The event was promoted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that advocates for LGBT+ activism in schools. Campolindo was one of many schools across the country that participated in this event.

Uthayakumar believed hosting the event at Campolindo was an effective way to raise awareness. “We want students to be involved and to be more aware of LGBT+ issues on campus, and to get students to take an interest in LGBT+ issues on their own. We also want students to examine how much LGBT+ issues are discussed in school,” she said.

Sophomore club member Madeline House estimated that around 30 Campolindo students participated in the event, although an official number was never calculated.

Another member of the SAGA club, sophomore Paige Love, said there is room for improvement in regard to how LGBTQ issues are addressed on campus. “I think it is imperative for students at Campo to be aware because although we commonly believe that Campolindo is an incredibly accepting place, the fact of the matter is that it isn’t,” she said. “Due to this frequent attitude, what I find is that our inner bigotry is often brushed under the rug and forgotten about, when in reality, it occurs through less direct acts that are really just as harmful by nature. I think that cultivating student awareness for not only the outright prejudice but the internalized as well is incredibly important in order to build the attitude and acceptance we aspire to reach.”

SAGA publicized the event, which included the screening of the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rent, using posters and through Wednesday announcements by Leadership.

“In addition, we had a table in the quad at lunch Monday through Friday where we sold tickets to the movie event. We talked to quite a few people about what Day of Silence was and how they could participate,” explained House. “On Friday before school, we set up our table again and handed out slips of paper for people who wanted to participate to pin on their shirts. This was to let their friends and teachers know what they were doing.”

All of the proceeds from tickets and snacks sold at the film viewing went to the Trevor Project, an organization which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.

“There are so many ways to support the LGBT+ community,” added Uthayakumar. “Education is one of the most essential things to supporting LGBT+ students. Understanding how the community is oppressed and how you personally are contributing is really important. Education is a tool for action. You can organize projects, volunteer, educate your peers and more. Campolindo SAGA provides a place for this; we hold meetings to educate members, discuss issues, and plan projects to make a difference in the community.”

The SAGA club meets every Wednesday at lunch in F4.

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