University promotes peace through week-long series of events

Students met Monday night to plan activities for the upcoming Peace Week this spring.

According to Widian Nicola, one of the Campus Ministers, Peace Week originated one year ago and “was born out of one experience last year.”

Students attended a peace march in Ft. Benning, Georgia aimed at shutting down paramilitary training camps funded by the U.S. Defense Department. After returning, the students decided that they could raise awareness with a week’s worth of activities on campus.

That first year, Nicola described the committee organizing Peace Week as “five students and myself [Nicola].” This year Nicola said she is confident that there will be seven days of activities, all dealing with peace and this year’s theme, “Create.” Peace Week will be observed from Sunday, April 25 to Saturday, May 1.

Other activities planned for Peace Week include a free hug campaign, relief for Haiti, a spoken-word concert, an art exhibition and a dodge ball tournament.

T-shirts will be sold throughout the week to raise money for various charities.

The dodge ball tournament, also known as “Dodge a Ball, Not Peace,” is one of the newer additions to Peace Week. Although the tournament is an Ozanam Scholar project, it will be held during Peace Week in Taffner Field House and it will also benefit relief work in Haiti.

Organizers are envisioning a tournament of up to 32 teams of students and administrators who will compete in a best-of-three contest. MVP points will be awarded to participants and spectators, while spectators will make a one dollar donation to Haitian relief efforts.

Sororities may contribute to the event by holding a bake sale, but the event is still in the planning stages.

The large response from students about Peace Week led to an increase in size and scope this year, and Nicola said she is confident that the students this year will set the bar even higher.

“They have the heart for it,” Nicola said. “They want to do something.”