Social Justice Week continued Wednesday evening with an open mic night presented by UPride, inviting students to stand up and speak for their beliefs. All were welcome, and various students showcased their artistic abilities through music and poetry.
Before any performances took place, the hosts ran through a set of rules that paralleled the theme of social justice week. These rules included constant support of all participants and keeping a keen awareness of how a performance could negatively or positively affect anyone attending the event.
Freshman Antonio Mercurius organized and hosted the event in hopes of bringing people together.
“The goal was to give people an opportunity to rid themselves of their hardships,” Mercurius said.
He also performed an original poem at the event. Mercurius said he chose poetry over other art forms because it has the ability to call for social justice more so than other forms of expression.
First-year music student Michael Fenuccio led off the night with a musical performance of his original song titled “Dumb.” He said that his friends convinced him to perform the song. He finally decided to accept the challenge when he thought about how such an event could be a great opportunity to bring people together.
“I think that’s something that most college campuses already have, but it never hurts to bring more people together,” Fenuccio said.
Another highlight of the night came when Alexis Lamoni performed her poem, “Thriving What Your Heart Wishes.”
“Voices are heard for the first time, and there might be someone going through the same thing who feels alone, but when you express yourself that person no longer feels like they’re alone,” Lamoni said when asked about the significance that the event and her poetry held.
Lamoni felt that the event was a great success. She hopes this success encourages more voices across campus to be heard.
Mercurius looks forward to organizing similar events in the future.
“I’ll take mental notes for the next one, but I thought it was a pretty good first time,” he said.
The hope that such events continue in the near future also resonated with Fenuccio.
“Hopefully it will grow into a consistent and cool event instead of just a one-time shot,” Fenuccio said.