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Silence the Hate Week: Color fight & release the hate balloons

Kaitlin Specht
News Writer

Silencing the Hate Week 2013 took place last week from April 15 – 29, which was comprised of various events and activities as part of ending hate and discrimination of all kinds at Millersville University. The Silencing the Hate Planning Committee hosts this every year, and works in alliance with other clubs and organizations within the community and on campus. They are dedicated to recognizing diversity and ending hate and discrimination. Their goal is to reach out to each club to organize events and to help add unity of these organizations.
In conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Empower Peer Educators and the Elsie S. Shenk Wellness and Women’s Center hosted their second annual S.L.U.T (Strong Ladies United Together) Walk last Thursday, April 18 at the Student Memorial Center Promenade. The S.L.U.T Walk is part of a nationwide educational initiative to raise awareness about violence against women and blaming victims of sexual assault.
On that same day, the Biology Club showed the film Temple Grandin with an open discussion about autism held in Club deVille. The movie was about Temple Grandin, an autistic woman, who became one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry. The Black Student Union (BSU) also held an open discussion on self-hate around 9 p.m. at the Student Memorial Center (SMC).

Students released their “hate balloons” outside on the SMC Promenade.
Students released their “hate balloons” outside on the SMC Promenade.

Friday, April 19 at 4 p.m., there was a color fight hosted by the Graduate Social Work Organization on the SMC patio. Students were asked to wear clothing where they didn’t mind staining. At 4:05 p.m. on George Street, students were asked to write the hate on a balloon and then “release the hate” by releasing the balloon into the sky. The final event then took place at 5 p.m. in the Reighard Multipurpose Room in the SMC where Kye Allums, feature African American trans-gender athlete, was the closing speaker.
Nicole Weerbrouck, President of Silencing the Hate Planning Committee, said how they have been around since Fall 2009.
“Originally when I came here my freshman year [Fall 2009 – Spring 2010], we noticed the silence of hate week going on, around that time it became its own organization, collaborating with other organizations,” said Weerbrouck.
Their ultimate goals is to collaborate with all on-campus organizations and off-campus organizations to raise awareness and advocate towards a world that doesn’t have these forms of self-hate in it.
“It’s been really rewarding, it was very overwhelming at first. The experience has really shown how much people truly care,” Weerbrouck stated.
Weerbrouck went on to discuss the committee’s future in regards to expanding their annual Silencing the Hate Week to becoming more than just a once a year week of many events.
“Next year we’re expanding to being able to have events throughout the academic year instead of once a year,” said Weerbrouck, “We’re working on trying to reach out to organizations if they would like to do events throughout the year.”
For more information about Silencing the Hate, or if you’re a part of an organization that would like to collaborate with the Silencing the Hate Planning Committee, please contact Nicole Weerbrouck at silencingthehate@gmail.com.