Updated February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm
Thank you for joining us for Vassar's Campus Gathering: Celebrating and Questioning. You can view videos and additional photos of the event above.
Updated February 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm
How many supporters does it take to surround Main Building? We may be about to find out.
Updated February 28, 2013 at 2:22pm
Supporters file onto Raymond Avenue to link hands in solidarity.
Updated February 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Alumnus Joseph Tolton ’89, national minister of global justice of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries in New York City, delivers the keynote address. The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries supports “religious leaders and laity in moving toward a theology of radical inclusivity.”
Pastor Joseph Tolton spoke as part of the historic conference "Smashing History: 150 Years of LGBTIQA Vassar” in 2011, and as part of Vassar’s Religious and Spiritual Life Day, an annual inter-religious celebration, last year.
Updated February 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm
Members of the student-led group Do Something VC, principal organizers of this event, talk about the group and about today's peaceful and inclusive response to the Westboro Baptist Church.
Updated February 28, 2013 at 11:15am
The Westboro Baptist Church’s announced plans to picket the campus has reminded Vassar alums of the values the institution holds dear and has reinforced their pride in the college. Alumnae/i are showing solidarity all across the country.
On February 26, members of the Chicago Vassar Club (shown here) braved a blizzard to show their Vassar Pride, meeting at the Old Town Social Club.
And coming up tonight:
- The Vassar Club of New York will host a sold-out Vassar Pride Mug night.
- Boston alumnae/i will gather at Club Cafe in the city’s South End.
- In Washington, D.C., a gathering will be held at Cause, a “philanthropub.”
- In Kansas City, alumnae/i will gather tonight at Snow & Co, an establishment that will donate a portion of the proceeds from that evening to a local LGBT community center and safe house.
In Southern California, an alumnae/i gathering will take place on Sunday, March 3, at the Culver Hotel.
Contact your regional clubs for details.
Updated February 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm
We realize that there are some members of the regional Vassar community who plan to join in on the campus events, so we wanted to share details about tomorrow.
What do you need to do to prepare for a rally like the one that will take place on campus?
Well, attitude is key!
As the many student, staff, and alumnae/i organizers of the campus gathering have stressed, tomorrow will be “about us” and our affirmation of community, not about those picketing.
We urge those who attend not to engage the Westboro picketers, who will be at a location outside of campus through arrangements with the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. We have been advised by the Department of Justice that while the Westboro group is non-violent and law-abiding in its actions, they will hope to elicit reactions.
All of our best advice tells us that we will respond most effectively if we do not confront the picketers. We also want to ensure everyone’s safety, which we cannot do off campus. The Town of Poughkeepsie police will be responsible for monitoring and addressing events outside our boundaries.
Schedule of Events for Thursday, February 28, 2013
If you're not coming to campus, be sure to check this page for a live video stream of these events tomorrow!
|12:45–1:05||Arrivals and welcome, Main Drive|
|1:05–1:10||Student a cappella group|
|1:10–1:30||Keynote remarks by Joseph Tolton ’89, national minister of global justice, the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries in New York City|
|1:35–1:55||Discussion of campus climate: student speakers|
|2:05–2:35||Showing signs of peace|
|2:20–2:35||Making a human chain around Main Building and observing a moment of silence|
|2:35||Bell toll and joyful scream|
Alternative spaces to the main campus gathering will be available for those who wish to join others in community or contemplation during the afternoon. Those spaces, which will be staffed, include the ALANA Center, the Bayit within Religious and Spiritual Life, the LGBTQ Center, the Women’s Center, and the Villard Room. As usual, the Chapel will be open for quiet reflection.