People complain about apathy on campus. People yell about the lack of unity. I challenge them to do something about their complaints.

During the recent rash of racial and discriminatory incidences on campus, much attention has been given to the

negative aspects of our college community. Believe it or not, we do have an active and positive side of our campus community.

There are people on campus making a difference. They do it as individuals by small personal acts or large groups in organized projects ? either way people are trying to make a positive change.

Yesterday, many groups and individuals on campus got the chance to show their support for the each other.

?Show Hands: Reach Out for Unity? was part of Wilson Commons? 25th birthday. The event was intended to be far deeper than a celebration of our student union. It was a wake-up call.

To those who have perpetrated hateful events on campus it was a clear signal of disapproval.

To those who have been the victims of such incidents it was a message of support from the university community.

Co-sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Friends Association, Campus Activities Board and Wilson Commons Student Activities, the event provided all groups, regardless of past disagreements, an opportunity to come together in unity.

On the same banner hands from sports groups, minority associations, activists, musicians, special interest housing, Greeks and other organizations touched each other to build connections.

Paint, cloth and people accomplished something no board could ? presented a unified front against discrimination.

What the event did not provide is the next step towards a more tolerant campus. The students need to take it upon themselves to continue the advances that were made symbolically.

It is commendable that some student groups have alliances and frequently co-sponsor events. There needs to be more.

Some students go out of their way to perform random acts of kindness. There could be more. If every person on this campus, student and faculty alike, took a few seconds a day to say hello to someone whom they usually do not speak, it might start to make the campus less cynical.

Apathy, discrimination and hate speech are all complex issues and are not going to be solved simply. Trying to make the campus a friendlier community can only help create a fertile environment for solutions to come from.

The hands hanging outside Wilson Commons are a good first step. It is up to every one of us to continue to fight.



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