The worldwide “It Gets Better” campaign is coming to campus, as senior Robert Hupf plans to create a video to document experiences within the UM community.
The project began in 2010 when columnist Dan Savage released a video to encourage people who were being harassed, primarily those part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. There are now more than 30,000user-created videos viewed more than 40 million times, according to the “It Gets Better” website.
Hupf found out about the project his freshman year after going through a difficult time in his life.
“I can honestly say the first few videos made me cry,” said Hupf, who identifies himself as a queer ally. “I can understand feeling alone and feeling like suicide is the only way out.
Hupf hopes to rally together various members of the UM community to speak about their experiences in order to create a video that will be presented April 20.
That Friday is also Day of Silence, a day members and allies of the LGBTQ community do not speak to express the repression they feel symbolically. Hupf plans to show the video instead of giving a formal presentation.
The video is being proposed as part of Social Justice Week, which will take place April 16-20. During SJW, on-campus organizations meet to form a cohesive unit that will discuss social issues and how to address them, according to Meera Nagarsheth, a member of the SJW organization.
Hupf hopes to foster an accepting atmosphere on campus.
“My hope is that UM will become a safe place and for that to happen, it requires people to speak out,” he said. “It requires action and the telling of your personal story, because that’s what people listen to.”
Filming will begin the last week of March and will continue until April 20. If you are interested in sharing your story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.