The evening began with an address to congress by the President. In his historic speech he spoke of the new war that our nation is facing. This somber note began the benefit concert Thursday night at the Drama House. Hopes were high for the event, but what actually transpired was more powerful than anything we expected.

The concert featured student acts, which included poetry readings and live performances. The event came to halt when security came and found one of the band members of the group 7 Energy with a beer.

The band member was not allowed to stay in the Drama House, which presented a major problem because the band could not perform without him.

Eventually, the show continued outside, after students hauled long orange extension chords out of nearly every window in the Drama House. 7 Energy performed their long awaited set in the fraternity quad.

The band was barely visible ? a single bare light bulb and the orange haze of streetlights lighted the quad.

The band member caught with the alcohol apologized to the crowd for the delay and then opened up with Nirvana?s ?In Bloom.? This version had slightly amended lyrics to make light of the alcohol incident.

It was this night that my generation was redefined in my eyes. The soundtrack of our teenage years played in the background as we stood outside in the dark together, facing the sobering reality of war.

It is rare that students come together on this campus to fight or support anything.

It?s unfortunate that it often takes something as tragic as the events of Sept. 11 to motivate people to work together. Students have supported each other during this difficult period to help others.

The benefit raised over $500, but more importantly, it made people realize that they are part of more than UR, but a community of American youth.

UR?s new alcohol policy threatened to stop the fundraiser because a student caught drinking a beer was not allowed to stay and perform with his band.

Last year, this would not have happened ? the student would have been written up and had his beer confiscated.

Thankfully, this incident did not stop the show. It ended up creating a powerful experience. Nearly 200 college students stood side-by-side in the darkness in defiance of Security and support of people in need.

Sept. 11 and UR?s response to it has been incredible. This one evening, though, was the strongest showing of strength that I have seen yet on this campus.

Rosenthal can be reached at arosenthal@campustimes.org.



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