At noon today students, faculty and staff will assemble at the top of the University of Wisconsin’s Bascom Hill to speak out against the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on campus in the form of a video.
Co-sponsored by UW’s LGBT Campus Center and UW Housing, the purpose of the event is to address violence against the LGBT community, Aiden Caes, student services specialist at the LGBT Campus Center, said.
The video, called Make it Better, resulted from a movement by the same title that aims to address homophobia, transphobia and harassment in the present, Caes said, as opposed to the It Gets Better campaign, which tells youth their circumstances with bullying will get better.
“Make It Better is the response…to address the homophobia and the violence they’re living in — to change it now,” Caes said.
Since the LGBT Campus Center works with UW Housing already, for example through their Safe Zone programming, Caes said co-sponsoring the event made sense.
The video will be shot from overhead, and students who attend will receive a number when they arrive. Caes said the video will start with a single student, and the others will gradually join.
The impact of the video will come at the end, when the entire crowd is in the shot, Caes said.
The Division of Student Life previously created the Show Your Face video, which Caes said the LGBT Campus Center supported, but was not directly affiliated with.
“The Show Your Face video was a more general statement addressing bullying on campus,” Caes said. “This one is to address [the LGBT] community specifically.”
Shooting the video should only take about 20 minutes, Caes said, because the group hopes to only take one shot. Caes added the video should be available early next week.
The Stop the Silence campaign started in October and coincides with a campus-wide conversation about bullying run by the Division of Student Life.
Dean of Students Lori Berquam said recognizing bullying and working to stop it will help the students be positive vessels for change, especially after they leave UW and enter the real world.
The video is being filmed less than one month after a vigil was held to remember the students who committed suicide nationwide. More than 300 people attended the vigil.