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Student Upstanders Walk in the Rain to Promote Unity

Christina Genovese, Staff Writer

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This year’s Upstander Walk was held on April 25, starting in the center of Maxcy Quad. University administration and students walked together through campus, and then ended at the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Administration and student leaders then made speeches about what campus climate means to them, their organization, and the campus community.

“This walk and event is a good example of showing that no matter if you’re black or white or gay or straight or republican or democrat, UNH is yours and you always belong here and will be here for you, and we will all be here for you,” said Juan Hernadez, director of the CDI.

After walking from Maxcy to the CDI, speakers shared what impact this event, and the creation of the CDI, has had on the campus and its students.

“In 2017, thanks to the generousity of the Myatt family, and the university, we have a place to be. A place where we can speak about any topic, like immigration, hijab, LGBTQ, or even this past election. The students can feel safe here, and feel free to take a stand. This is the place we hold as upstanders,” said Dr. Lauren Kempton.

This event, and the CDI, is about bringing different people and organizations together to build a community on campus.

President Kaplan said, “This is the kind of thing as a university community that we should be doing. Due to the hard work, we have accomplished quite a bit, and are still not done. We can never stop improving the sense of openness and community. Let’s make sure that next year we double and triple our numbers, and continue the great progress we’ve made as a more tolerant and diverse community.”

Students that are a part of the Campus Climate Coalition spoke and addressed issues students have about their voices not being heard. They also spoke about how the Upstander Walk is about pride in one’s beliefs, and coming together to accept one another.

“When you’re a bystander and doing nothing you’re letting everything else think that that’s okay,” said Nicolette Angelli, the USGA President-elect. “Say something when behavior is not just. Challenge the bias we see every day in our lives. We must be allies with each other, and end this era of being unjust. We are upstanders.”

Campus climate began with students that took initiative to improve student to student relations over sensitive topics. Throughout this last year alone, efforts of students and faculty have grown.

“This event has been a clear example of what power you as students hold,” Hernandez said. “Do not ever forget that.”

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Student Upstanders Walk in the Rain to Promote Unity