Keeping silent to be heard

Students across campus Friday will vow to keep quiet in order to raise awareness about bullying against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as a part of the national Day of Silence.

“DOS is a day where students can make a statement about all students having the right to attend school in a safe environment, even if they are different,” said Lorraine Schroeder, director of the LGBT Resource Center.

“It is a way to bring attention to the fact that even if they legalize same-sex marriage, there are still serious issues facing our LGBT youth, including bullying, family rejection and homelessness.”

Gamma Rho Lambda is a sorority that is not exclusive to any specific race, gender orientation or sexual orientation. It is open to undergraduates and graduates.

The sorority will be selling DOS jewelry and buttons as well as giving away speaking cards. Speaking cards are free and printable from the DOS website and explain the reason for the person’s choosing to be silent.

“Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT,” said education sophomore Jonni Powers, a Gamma Rho Lambda member.

“Our purpose for the Day of Silence event is to mostly raise awareness. We will always be taking pledges for DOS and taking photos.”

DOS only takes place once a year, but according to Schroeder and Powers, support for the LGBT community can take place all year long.

“Student organizations can contact the LGBT Resource Center and request an LGBT panel to learn more about the LGBT community,” Schroeder said. “They can refrain from saying, ‘That’s so gay’ or ‘No homo,’ and tell others who use these phrases that it is offensive and contributes to the bullying culture.”

Gamma Rho Lambda’s DOS event will be held at the University Center Satellite on April 18th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. For more information about DOS, please visit

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