The citizen’s of Darfur, a region in Sudan, are facing massive genocide by their government and most students are unaware of this international issue. However, a group of students joined in a day of silence to raise awareness on campus last Thursday.

Darfur has been in conflict for over three years and 400,000 people have been killed, 2.5 million are missing and an estimated 10,000 people are dying every month.

The last genocide this size was in Rwanda in 1994, which gained much more publicity than Darfur.

“Silence So the World Can Hear” was the message of the Students for Social Justice. Eleven students remained silent from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., while five students were only silent while handing out flyers.

“I had to remain silent for only an hour while handing out flyers. I’ve never done anything like this before. It was quite difficult to remain silent for so long,” said participant Diana Westcott ’10.

Many college organizations have days of silence in order to get a message across and according to Kevin Donahue ’07, leader of the Students for Social Justice, silence is used because it draws attention to people.

“We dramatized the situation as much as we could have,” he said.

Once students resumed speaking at 8 p.m., they felt a sense of accomplishment.

“I thought the day went very well. It was difficult to make ourselves stand out like in such an obvious way, but it seemed like people were struck by the commitment it took to remain silent for the day,” said Donahue.

Although a new member of the Students for Social Justice group on campus, Diana Westcott, was satisfied she made a difference.

“It went much better than I expected…the fact that we were being silent attracted people to learn what was going on. I think we really made a difference,” she said.

Students for Social Justice has already planned more events to support Darfur in the future, such as letter writing to senators and “Jams for Justice,” a concert planned to be held during the spring semester.

To learn more about Darfur, go to

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