JAMILA YOUNG — Staff Writer
On Wednesday, the first portion of the SCSU Day of Peace took place.
The event was organized by students of the Inquiry 101-53N class.
They hoped the event would help memorialize the legacy of John Lennon, who devoted his life to advancing peace during a turbulent time in history.
The concept of the event was to celebrate peace within ourselves, across the SCSU campus, the New Haven community, the nation, the world and across the universe.
The Day of Peace started off with a panel discussion called, “The Cost of War, The Benefit of Peace,” between a US Army veteran, Herb Geller, and Herbert Richter, a member of an anti-Nazi family, in Engleman Hall C112 at 12:15pm.
Questions were taken from members of the Southern History Department, the Veterans Office and members of the audience. Geller enlisted to serve his country at the age of 20 the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He served in France and Germany, and then returned home to pursue a career as a newspaper journalist. Richter was a teenager living in Berlin, Germany when the Second World War was developing.
He was forced into joining the Hitler Youth and the German army and fought on the Russian front. After the war, he came to America to become a U.S. citizen.
He has spent his life speaking about his support for peace. The discussion gave the audience a sense of how two veterans from opposite sides are now on the same side, sharing a common goal for the support of peace.
At the second show of the Day of Peace, numerous events occurred in the Lyman Center with intermissions between each one while a university club fair took place throughout the day.
New Haven’s mayor, John DeStefano, and Southern’s Interim President, Stanley Battle, started off the event with opening remarks. A performance by SPDC and a demonstration by the SCSU Karate Club followed.
At 5 p.m. two army veterans, Mike Wright, and Rob Turner spoke about bridging the gap between war and construction. They also talked about how the Army is stereotyped as people who just their guns all the time.
In addition to combat, they also provide acts of service to underprivileged countries.
They’ve given pencils, notebooks and soap to people who had never had any.
Wright said the people feel as if they’ve been given thousand dollar bills. Wright and Turner stressed the point that the Army videos people see on CNN isn’t really all that goes on and that they do service projects, but no one wants to see that side of things.
Ebony McClease, a graduate intern from the Women’s Center spoke about how people shouldn’t limit themselves because of the way they’ve grown up or based on their social class, race, etc.
She also said people should always ask questions, because that’s how you become more educated.
At the end of the segment, a series of poems and even some songs were recited. Some of the poet speakers were SCSU professors: Jeff Mock, Walter Stutzman and Will Hochman. Southern students performed poems as well: Yoyo from the poetry club F.L.O.W, Tarist Jones, Michelle Richey, and Oscar Castillo and Rohit Gover, who are both part of the Inquiry class that organized the event.
At 7:30 p.m. a band called Old Man Noises performed rock and roll music. Then the Day of Peace ended with a Student Variety Show starting at 9 p.m., where Southern students showed off their abilities and talents.