Students Of Salem For Peace
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A HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF SOS FOR PEACE
by Hope Benne
The first official meeting to found Students of Salem for Peace (SOS for Peace) was held on September 20, 2006, but the actual seeds for this group were planted on September 11. These seeds were in the form of the optimism and heartfelt convictions of David Stewart, Randy Holmberg, Anthony Kruchas, Matt Klein, and Jen Jordan. At the College Clubs fair that crisp autumn day, they enthusiastically signed up to be placed on the listserv of the Peace Institute.
Later that evening, these same students attended a 9/11 commemoration titled "The100th Anniversary of Gandhi's Struggle for Nonviolence" in Forten Hall. There we showed excerpts from the Gandhi movie with Ben Kinglsey and a special DVD made for the occasion - "Satyagraha: 100 Years of Nonviolence." Professors Krishna Mallick and James Hoover led a discussion on nonviolence.
The first official meeting was held on September 20, 2006, an historic day at Salem State College. Eleven students and three faculty members were present:
We discussed procedures for forming a new club and how to work with the Log. Then we realized the next day, September 21, was International Day of Peace, and we spontaneously decided to hold a peace festival in the courtyard in front of Ellison Center. We lined up flags, face paint, yarn for braiding, signs, and music.
Our next meeting on September 27, 2006 brought us nearer our goals as we discussed possible names for the club, the mission statement, the Credo, and the Constitution. Randy Holmberg volunteered to be Secretary and recorded the first minutes.
Diana Emmons attended our next meeting Oct. 4th and suggested the fantastic name, Students of Salem for Peace, SOS for Peace. David Stewart suggested the wonderful Credo. We decided to hold a Speak Out on October 17, 2006 and began planning for it.
Randy Holmberg made a beautiful publicity flyer for our Speak Out on Oct. 17.
Mikaela Ferland made the first 3-fold brochure which had the club logo on the front and mission statement, credo, and peace quotes inside. She did a most professional and creative job on it.
On October 18th we held our first elections. The following students were elected:
PRESIDENT: Genevieve Morse (Peace and Intercultural Relations major, Junior)
We turned in the Constitution on October 20, one month after our September 20 founding.
I want to especially thank and acknowledge Rebecca Miller and Chad O'Connor for their help with writing the Mission Statement.
Professor Jon Aske added the SOS link to the Peace Institute website on Oct. 20.
Since Peace is an issue that crosses all cultures and has implications in all academic disciplines we foresee co-sponsoring many events with other groups, groups within Salem State College and groups in other colleges and universities in the Boston area.
We plan to start purchasing bulk, low-cost peace buttons and tee shirts so we can sell them for a small profit and send the money to worthy causes to ease poverty and disease.