12 quilt sections displayed next week

Next week, the Bowen Thompson Student Union and the Wellness Connection will be bringing a portion of the AIDS quilt to campus. Twelve-by-twelve inch sections of the quilt will be on display, consisting mainly of panels dedicated to AIDS victims from the Northwest Ohio area.

The entire quilt, which was founded in 1987 by AIDS activists in San Francisco, consists of over 45,000 individual panels. Each panel is dedicated to a victim of AIDS and was constructed by the victim’s loved ones.

The quilt had been displayed at the University in the past, and after a period of time of not being displayed, was brought back last year. Only 10 panels were displayed last year, but due to an increase in funding, more of the quilt will be displayed this year.

The quilt will be displayed spread out on the floor this year, instead of being hung up as it was last year, to enhance the viewer’s experience.

“It’s more effective that way,” Rosa Hanko, program coordinator for the Union, said.

The names of the AIDS victims honored on the quilt will be read at the display throughout the week, and an information table about HIV and AIDS will be set up as well. These events are all taking place to commemorate World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.

In past years the quilt display has been successful.

“Students who have been able to come have really learned a lot,” Barb Hoffman, Health Promotion Coordinator, said.

The main reason for bringing the quilt to campus, according to Hoffman and Hanko, is to raise awareness of the impact AIDS continues to have on society.

“Students don’t think AIDS is a big deal anymore. It doesn’t seem as severe as it did years ago,” Hoffman said. “We hope this makes students realize it’s an important issue.”

“Students now aren’t thinking of it as that big of concern,” Hanko said. “That was a big reason why we brought it in — it’s still impacting people’s lives.”

The AIDS quilt will be on display in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom Monday, Dec. 1 until Thursday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.