Safe Space Week Events in Bloom

Yarn designs covered campus through the week of April 9-13.

Lately campus has been alive with Safe Space events, including the yarn bombings on campus which took place Monday night.  Campus was  decorated with many unique yarn creations, including creations wrapped around trees and a beanie for a statue in the Campus Center.

Two inclusive hymn sings – one on Wednesday and one on Friday – brought in about 20 people.  There was also a documentary screening of “A Jihad for Love” on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. which brought about 11 people.

Finally, there was a poetry slam at 11 p.m. Friday night in Common Grounds.  The event, which was supported and organized by Safe Space, Eastern Mennonite Student Womens’ Association (EMSWA) and Peace Fellowship, brought approximately 42 people.

The small gathering allowed for students such as Sophomore Peter French and Sophomore Christine Baer to recite several original poems. Tom Truesdale, Sophomore, also addressed the audience with his poem, “Green Fields.” Perhaps because of its intimacy, an aura of creativity and non-judgemental acceptance surrouded verses about activism, community, and love-making.

The yarn bombing was approved by Physical Plant and was intended to “show some artistic spirit,” according to Sophomore Christine Baer, Co-President of the club. Baer stated that the yarn bombing got a really positive reaction, and that people enjoyed finding the yarn bombs strewn all over campus.

“[Yarn bombing] shows that we are a presence on campus,” said Junior Ruth Maust, Junior Class Officer for Safe Space.  Maust believes it is important for studentst to get involved with these issues. “When other people don’t care or think it’s not a big deal, it can be hurtful sometimes.”

The documentary “A Jihad for Love” was shown as part of Safe Space’s effort to bring in a diversity of students.  The film explores the relationship between Islam and homosexuality.  Senior Kayla Sasser said of the documentary, “[It] really opened my eyes about some of the issues of homosexuality… Even in Christianity it’s a really big deal.”

This has been a good year for Safe Space, according to Baer. There were “several events where [the club] pushed effective dialogue.” Safe Space has been working with JMU’s Madison Equality, as well as the JMU LGBT and Ally Education Program, both of which have goals similar to Safe Space’s.

The clubs have joined forces to bring poet Andrea Gibson to JMU on April 22. Gibson has been called “the fiery, tender, and gloriously inspiring Women’s World Poetry Slam Winner.” The event will have free admission. Doors will open at 8:00 p.m. at the Grafton-Stovall Theater.

Safe Space’s goals for the end of the year are to remain a presence on campus. Baer would like to encourage students to be aware of clubs on campus, and says that Safe Space would like to thank EMU administration and faculty for their “awesome support.”

-Monica Root


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