This week and the weeks that will follow will be jam packed with papers, tests and quizzes as we slowly finish up our academic years here at the Mount. For some, we make be excited to become rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors and what an accomplishment that will be. For others, this is a bittersweet time, preparing for graduation, making your last few memories while you still have time, and getting ready to embark on a new adventure outside the confines of Mount St. Mary’s University.
We have the opportunity to make our years here at the Mount memorable and impactful. We have the chance to leave our mark and become a part of the legacy that makes this University so great. As a rising senior, I am beginning to understand more and more, how quickly the time passes, and how much more I would like to do while I’m still here.
For instance, last year I observed how many students were involved in the Center for Student Diversity’s attempts to bring attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Month during the month of April. I was intrigued by the amount of dedication and participation that students gave to such a worthy cause; and I can remember thinking, “I want to be a part of this. I want to make an impact on campus” a fleeting thought at the time, is now a reality. April has rolled around again and this time I made a small effort by being silent for a day, with red tape around my mouth in hopes to bring awareness to campus about sexual assault.
Early on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 I posted a status that read:
“Today I am taking a stand against Sexual Assault and joining with CSD to bring awareness to my school community about this issue.”
My experience with being silent for 10 hours was, I must confess, more difficult than I had anticipated. As I looked into people’s eyes I could almost feel the burning curiosity that they had, wondering why I looked the way that I did that day, and why I wasn’t speaking. So the inquiring minds, I wrote this letter:
“You’re probably wondering why I have bright red tape on my mouth right? Well, I’m glad that I’ve sparked your curiosity! J The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I along with others around campus are taking a stand against it, by volunteering to be silent for a day.”
I created a motto for myself that said:
“Today, I CHOOSE TO LET MY ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN MY WORDS” and proudly posted it on every social media site with which I am apart. I figured that if I was going to participate in the activities that the Center for Student Diversity was providing then I was going to be bold about it. What I have learned and what I have gained from this experience far exceeds the small act of being silent for a day.
In the end, getting involved this year was well worth it because I knew that I was becoming a part of something so much greater. I identified for a day with those who can’t speak out about this issue and stood with them. I could empathize with their hurt, and the difficulty that those who have been affected directly and/or indirectly by sexual assault because I chose to put myself in their place.
What I gained from participating in the activities that the Center for Student Diversity provided was more awareness about the issue, how to not second guess my decision to get involved because it was uncomfortable, and the more clear understanding of what my participation really meant; which was to “speak out” against sexual assault for those who don’t feel that they can. I stood in their place for a day; and that is something that I will take with me because this new found knowledge inspired me to action.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.