Monday December 12, 2016

Standing Rock Sleep Out

Many University of Dayton students enjoy camping, as John Bryan state park is only a few minutes drive from campus. It’s a great way to spend an evening with friends huddled around a campfire telling unforgettable jokes and stories. But how about on a cold, wet December evening? That does not sound like a whole lot of fun, but what if that wasn’t the point? In light of the ongoing situation in North Dakota, a special group of UD students organized an event called “Standing Rock Sleep Out.”

In an effort to show solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, students camped in front of Marycrest residence hall on the night of December 5th. Hmm, that’s interesting. Camping for a cause hundreds of miles away from the actual site of controversy? What’s the point of that? In the words of one student participant, “The most important thing is that we can show this is something we’re passionate about. People follow passion.” A student organizer provided additional insight, “Peaceful protests can do big things.”

I participated in the camp out and, despite of what I first thought were early indications of frostbite, am happy to report my nose did not completely freeze over. However, the frigid conditions were the last thing on my mind. I was happy to be surrounded by a group of people who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe to be right, out in plain sight for the whole campus to see. These sorts of things seem to be happening more frequently at UD. Student involvement and care for important issues increases everyday, and I am proud to be part of a community that so strongly advocates student passions. 

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