International Day of Peace celebration unifies attendees in promotion of global disarmament

Students crowded the Kuhl Gymnasium on Friday Sept. 21 in recognition of the International Day of Peace, coordinated by the Geneseo Peace Action club. The event consisted of various student performances and a chance to embrace unity over violence (Udeshi Seneviratne/photo editor).

The Kuhl Gymnasium radiated positive vibes as students gathered for Geneseo Peace Action’s annual celebration of the International Day of Peace on Friday Sept. 21. The three-hour long event was designed to remind students of the importance of peace around the world and to bring international conflict awareness to the Geneseo campus.

Geneseo Peace Action’s co-presidents junior Clara Gallagher and junior Catherine Curley ran the event to promote peaceful mindsets among students and to encourage them to talk about important global issues on their minds. 

The event was accompanied by student performances including Southside Boys, jazz band, Bhangra dancers, and a cello performance by accounting major senior Eric Wang. Peace Action provided rocks for students attending the event to paint before the club placed them around campus.

“The idea is to turn weapons into art,” Gallagher said. 

The event is one of two major events that Geneseo Peace Action prepares each semester. The second event is a Refugee Benefit Dinner to raise money for refugees and awareness about the national refugee crisis. 

Peace Action is coordinating with Geneseo Late Knight to host an open mic event called “Give Us a Peace of Your Mind” on Oct. 19, where students are encouraged to perform music and poetry to inspire the audience to think about world issues and peace. The open mic night will take place at the Knight Spot from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. 

Peace Action meets on Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. in Bailey 201. The club is a chapter of the national organization Peace Action NYS which works closely with the United Nations, providing opportunities for students to grow and involve themselves on a higher level. 

The group plans to promote student activism on campus, build young leaders interested in the movement and provide internship opportunities to help students get involved in peace organizations across the nation. 

The club envisions a world with no nuclear weapons or war and all where human beings can live healthy lives and participate in significant decisions that affect the common good. 

“We’re here to listen. If there’s an issue affecting students, we want to help them plan an event around it,” Gallagher said. “We really encourage people to come to the meetings and tell us what is on their mind.”