Students Rise for Peace
Students with a poster for Guardians of Peace. Photo courtesy of Yuliya Golovasheva.

Students Rise for Peace

The Guardians of Peace, a new student organization, will be making its first appearance on Oct. 3, not only to lead an interactive event, but to start a revolution.

Guardians of Peace will be focusing on three controversial political turmoils today: the Gaza and Israel Conflict, the Ukraine crisis, and the Ferguson debate. They will be discussed Friday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center.

“This isn’t just about the controversial topics we’re going to be discussing, it’s about getting people to start speaking out,” said Yulia Golovasheva, a Guardians of Peace leader. “We need to be less apathetic and more active.”

Golovasheva is native to Ukraine and hope’s to shed some light on the current situation for those who are unaware of the country’s uprising. She says that she may be able to offer a more personal and insightful opinion than others due to her proximity to family and friends who are witnessing the rebellion first hand.

“The goal of this event is to get to the root of the issue,” Golovasheva said. “We’ve grown up in a society that has no views on peace. We just think, ‘do we send our troops or not?’ We look at the immediate gains, we don’t look ahead.”

Ron Strege, the director of diversity and college access, will be speaking at the event along with Skip Jones, a performer and peace advocate. Jones will accompany Strege with musical and spoken motivation regarding heated topics. Following the two lectures will be the opening of three booths, each assigned to an issue.

The hope is that students will become more conscious of their role in promoting peace amidst conflict.

“These subjects matter,” said Serah Washington, a fellow Guardians of Peace leader.  “The various conflicts, their origins and what steps can be taken to resolve these conflicts are very important for students to address because students are the future leaders of the world. We need to educate ourselves about all aspects of these conflicts to be better equipped to raise awareness for them now and come up with solutions once we come into positions of influence.”

The goal of Guardians of Peace is to spark conversation among students, not to change anyone’s mind. They want this to be a movement, not a fleeting night.

“I hope that those who attend this event will have the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the aspects of the conflicts at hand and have stimulating conversations with their peers who are also passionate about these conflicts,” Washington said. “I also hope that this event will foster an interest and a desire for students to get involved and realize that they can make a difference.”

Sophie Stickelmaier
Reporter
sstic520@uwsp.edu

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