MPAS to host week-long ‘Release Week’ events

Douglass Gavilan/Staff writer

Beginning Monday, April 17, the Multicultural Programs and Services and Campus Life offices will be hosting a week-long event that incorporates relaxation and issues affecting the LGBTQA community.

As Pride Month continues, “Release Week” will have five events including a day of silence, which is an annual nationwide event to spread awareness on the effects of bullying and harassment many members of the LGBTQA communities often face.  

“Release week is a cool opportunity in which LGBTQA initiatives partners with Campus Life,” said Sebastian Ojeda, graduate assistant for the LGBTQA initiatives.

Students who take the pledge, which will be at 10 a.m in the Panther Square, will be given a shirt and expected to stay silent until the event wraps up.

After, students will return and take part in an ice cream social where student discuss what they noticed from taking the pledge.

“Typically, this has been happening around high schools and colleges around the U.S.,” said Ojeda. “People can commit to taking a vow of silence. They are given an informational card that they can hand to people. The card explains what is the event and why they are participating in the event.”   

National Day of Silence is a student-led day meant to fight bullying and harassment and was first organized in 1996 by a group of students at the University of Virginia, according to the Gay Straight Advocates for Education organization.

Campus Life and the Multicultural Programs and Services will team up again for “Pride BBQ,” which  follows on Tuesday, April 18. It will take place in Panther Square and last between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to Hannah Ellis, graduate assistant at BBC’s Campus Life.

“They [MPAS] are so wonderful, they are a wonderful office and I’m so proud to work with them,” said Ellis. “I’m so excited to be working with them. We’re both trying to do a lot to benefit students.”  

The next three days will focus on relieving students stress where events will be done with an outer space theme — the first is Art Therapy Day.

On Wednesday, April 19, students will enjoy arts and craft activities working with moon sand and creating there own rocket ship. There will also be a photobooth for students and graduating seniors can customize teddy bears from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m in the Panther Square.

“Some of the research that I have seen is that different students handle stress in different ways,” said Ellis. “Students do best when they are given a creative outlet, and art is one of the biggest. Whether it’s painting, crafting or using Playdough, using art is a way to let them focus on a small project versus having their brain scattered over homework, family and stress.”

“Throw Your Stress Away” follows on Thursday, April 20, which Ellis said will feature a black hole where students can write what is stressing them out on paper stars and can throw it away in the black hole. Campus Life will also be giving away cupcakes to participating students in Wolfe University Center Loggia, from 11 a.m. til 2 p.m.

On the last day of Release Week, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Sweat the Stress Away” will consist of playgrounds activities and games. Ellis said there will be jump rope, foursquare, dodgeball and chalk.

“This is the event that I’m most excited about,” said Ellis. “It’s a way to get students active, outside and take their stress away.”

For more information, visit Campus life located in WUC 141 at the Biscayne Bay Campus or the MPAS offices located in WUC 253.

Photo retrieved from Wikimedia

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