April 20, 2015
The national Day of Silence in the LGBT community was April 17, but some students don’t have Friday classes. Therefore, SPECTRUM hosted a “Big Noisy Barbeque” on April 16 from 1-4 p.m. instead to engage the campus community.
The barbeque was scheduled in the UC upper plaza, with a bounce house, photo booth and live music from UCCS Radio. But due to wintry conditions, the MOSAIC office hosted the event indoors.
“Day of Silence started in 1996 as a way to combat or put more of a visible face on anti-LGBT bullying,” said Vanessa Delgado, LGBT program director at the MOSAIC office.
“It’s a silent protest supposed to emulate or mirror the voices that are silenced every day.”
Delgado explained that students typically wear duct tape over their mouths and refuse to speak throughout the day and pass out flyers explaining the protest. Every few years, the day is dedicated to a specific person.
Alison Egbers, president of SPECTRUM and junior organizational communication major, explained the barbeque is “to celebrate voices that are heard now” and encourage others to speak out.
“Consider what our political social place in the world was 20 years ago, and so there’s been a lot of advancement, to move the community and the movement forward,” Delgado said.
“Today, SPECTRUM’s idea was this notion of getting away from silence, because we don’t want to perpetuate or promote silence, we want to perpetuate or promote noise and vocal activism and I think
that there’s definitely a place for speaking about anti-LGBT bullying,” Delgado explained.
Despite the weather, students still expressed appreciation for the event and raising awareness.
“Just coming to this school and seeing that there’s a club like this, in general, for people that are LGBT, that’s really cool to have that,” said Austin Brownell, a freshman math major.
The event drew students from area colleges as well.
“I actually grew up in a fairly unbiased family, I’m a practicing Catholic, they were very accepting, but at the same time, I also know people whose parents are not,” said Natasha Meehan, junior zoology student transferring this fall to UCCS from PPCC.
“It’s really awesome to have days like this where everyone can come together and remember and help each other.”
“One of the things that we forget is that this happens still today, where we live. Anti-LGBT sentiments are everywhere, homophobia is definitely still a problem,” Delgado said. “Day of Silence is a good reminder that we should be aware of those things.”