Grambling State University students raised domestic violence and education awareness Tuesday during convocation hours.The lunchtime events began with the brothers of United Afrikan American Men leading a domestic violence march across campus.
Students marched with tape across their faces to symbolize silenced domestic violence abuse victims.
About 65 people participated in the march.
Students with and without organizational affiliations supported the march.
Some organizations whose members backed the brothers included Omega Tau Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and the society of Distinguished Black Women.
More important than the colors worn by the students who supported the march was spreading the anti-violence message.
“(Domestic violence) is definitely affecting the Black community,” said Timothy Eugene, a theatre senior and member of UAAM.
Eugene was a spokesperson for the march and added that personal experiences helped to shape his perceptions of domestic abuse.
“It was inspired by my mother who is a survivor of domestic violence . as well as a close friend of mine who still is a victim,” said Eugene.
Eugene elaborated on the diverse forms of domestic abuse.
“Domestic violence isn’t just men versus women. It’s not one-sided.”
He emphasized that same-sex violence occurs, in addition to woman-on-man abuse.
To begin the domestic violence march, senior Kimberly Monroe sang “Trouble of This World” by Mahalia Jackson.
After the march concluded, SGA’s education empowerment rally began.
The rally was an opportunity to reinvigorate students and promote academic engagement.
It was also a chance to remind or inform them of the low completer review of state higher education programs.
The low completer review could devastate Grambling State University’s academic offerings.
GSU’s 31 at-risk programs are the second highest number of proposed cuts in the University of Louisiana System.
GSU’s possible cuts are second to Louisiana Tech University’s 46 at-risk programs.
Some at-risk GSU undergraduate programs include Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, English and Foreign languages.
A professor in an at-risk program said that if these core programs are taken away from the state, GSU will become essentially a “trade school.”
Students in various majors, at-risk and unquestioned, supported the rally, and signed a petition in support of their educations.
They also made signs to promote the importance of academic engagement.
As members of Lyrical Quest performed, impromptu speeches were given and students socialized, the rally highlighted the fact that GSU still has students who are engaged in the academic process and care about their futures.
“I hope that from this point we can start a movement that will spark the minds and hearts of every GSU student to get up, think up and speak up for our education,” said sophomore class president Jonathan Allen.
“Tuesday in general was a powerful movement,” said Eugene.
“This is the time for us to rise and make our mark in higher education,” Allen said.