Dear Spring Semester of 2011,
You have surprised me; I have never seen a more unified community. With each semester at the College, I realize how much this place resembles a tight-knit family. Following the tsunami in Japan last month, several initiatives on campus arose. Our campus is driven by service and community engagement, and I certainly saw that with the Japan Recovery Initiative. Several organizations, like those involved in the Asian Student Council (Chinese Student Organization, Vietnamese Student Association, Japanese Cultural Association, Korean American Student Association, South Asian Student Association, and the Filipino-American Student Association), have dedicated the past month in raising money and awareness about the catastrophe in Japan. With events like ASC’s “A Dance for Chance” and FASA’s Annual “Turon Fundraiser”, organizations on campus are working hard to increase support for this particular initiative.
Another instance of community that I have witnessed is the College’s very own Relay for Life. Held this past Friday and Saturday, from 7PM to 7AM, several groups on campus gathered to remember those affected by cancer, provide an incredible support group, and remind each other of the fight against cancer. This year, Relay for Life raised over $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. Even though we’re a small school, we certainly have a big heart for fundraising for a cause.
Members of the Tribe are not only concerned with volunteering their time for others. They are also compassionate toward one another. Within the past year, I have seen (and participated with) the growth of on-campus initiatives that raise awareness of mental health and safety. Known as “The Little Things at William and Mary”, this particular organization works to remind each other of the beauty and love present in our lives; thus, we should all take a step back and realize that there is more to life than “the hustle and bustle.” Right now, The Little Things facilitates an anonymous online blog, which encourages submissions from all members of the Tribe (poetry, prose, short stories, links to YouTube videos, photography, favorite quotes – basically anything that makes someone smile). Feel free to check out The Little Things Blog, as all are welcome to share why and how they’ve realized that life is beautiful.
Another organization that I have come to respect greatly is known on this campus as “The Circle.” This organization hosts weekly cyphers (every Monday night at 9:30PM at the Phoenix Seal by the Crim Dell for those who are interested). These “cyphers” provide a safe space for self-expression. Members gather every week to free-style, rap, recite poetry/floetry, beat box, play instruments, and more. I’ve never seen a more diverse, yet dynamic, group of individuals, as they are certainly from all walks of life, and have many different interests altogether. You can check out more on The Circle if you’re on Facebook!
It’s events and initiatives like these that remind me why I’m at William & Mary. This place is certainly an incredible environment for our family of compassion and love.
Thank you, Spring. You truly are amazing.