A group of Weber State University students majoring in social work held a protest and display — called A Moment of Silence for American Unity — on the Ogden campus on Election Day, Nov. 3.
The students held the protest and display, a project for one of their classes, on the southeast side of the clock tower.
A Moment of Silence for American Unity was created by the group members in hopes of bringing unity back to the way people treat one another, making lasting impacts with people and within the community.
One student participant said the group planned the project to be held around Election Day because that’s when the group felt like divisions between individuals were going to be at a peak.
The group agreed that tensions and emotions within their community have been high due to both the election and COVID-19 protocols.
Melanie Walter, another participant in the project, said the group wanted to portray what hate can do to individuals. Walter has dealt with violence and bullying growing up.
“We want people to stop and think about how they treat others and realize they could always be kinder to one another,” Walter said. “We need to do better with how we treat people and realize that we don’t need to resort to violence.”
Though the project was carried out differently than the group had expected, they were able to have deep conversations with people walking by the table. They discussed topics such as what was happening within the community, politics and anxiety while waiting for election results.
The group also agreed there was power in silence by just listening and taking in what people had to say, regardless of the topic, circumstance or their assumptions of people.
“We should try to be more openminded when it comes to hearing what others have to say; get the full story first,” said Tyler Mitchell, another participant in the event. “Try not to blindly believe everything one person says, and don’t go into full aggression mode when you don’t agree.”