Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Follow us on social
  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Silence speaks louder than words

Junior Brian Metzger started his day just like any other. After attending a morning class, he dropped by Starbucks to pick up a coffee.

But after reaching the counter to place his order, things changed. Metzger was unable to speak.

Like nearly 1,600 other University students last year, Metzger participated in Silent Solidarity, an event that asks its participants to remain voiceless for eight hours in order to represent people silenced in society.

‘It’s a really hard thing to do,’ Metzger said. ‘No one tells you it’s going to be easy when you sign up, but I sure wouldn’t describe it as a cake walk.’

Participants are asked to remain silent from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which includes refraining from using popular forms of communication devices such as cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging and Facebook.

The event, which is sponsored by the Social Justice Task Force and SMART, gives different labels, which stand for different groups, to every student participating. More than 100 groups are represented in Silent Solidarity and the identities are assigned randomly.

‘Committee members did research on groups that are underrepresented, and those were the ones that were chosen for Silent Solidarity,’ said Jennifer Key, a graduate student involved in the program. ‘Gender, race, socio-economic status and sexuality were some of the main points considered.’

And although the day calls for students to reflect on the struggles of silenced people, Key said many students seemed to have forgotten the mission over the years. Therefore, changes were made in order to bring meaning back into the event.

‘A majority of people did it for the T-shirts last year,’ Key said. ‘We wanted to bring purpose back to Silent Solidarity. This day is so much more than just a T-shirt.’

In the past, free T-shirts were given to participants in order to distinguish who was involved in the event. However, this year buttons and wrist bands were distributed instead.

The Silent Solidarity committee also decided to include a walk-in room displaying pictures and stories of silenced people. Students participating in the event were given the opportunity to read the stories of some of the groups they would be representing in order to better understand the struggles of everyday life.

‘Although the walls are covered in other people’s stories, the last image seen is a mirror,’ Key said. ‘When students look in, they are asked to remember that today they are representing someone without a voice and to realize that they have the power to change that.’

A canned food drive was also added this year. In order to participate in the program, students were asked to bring one can of food for donation. Anyone can still donate food by bringing it to Founders.

Tiffany Davis, SMART program coordinator and chair of the Social Justice Task Force, was happy to see the changes made this year but expects even more to be included in the future.

‘I hope that, one day, faculty and staff could participate in the event,’ she said. ‘Of course, that would shut down operations for the day, but I think the result would be worth it.’

Davis also hopes the event will be incorporated into classrooms by including social justice issue discussions for the day.

‘People who don’t hear these people’s voices or see the issues they face are missing out,’ she said. ‘This is a campuswide effort. We’re changing the world by awareness through this day.’

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$1325
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$1325
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *