As classes began and students returned to their studies, Gettysburgians explored different viewpoints and cultures while also finding ways to innovate and improve. Newcomers to campus discovered an abundance of opportunities made possible by the hard work and efforts of their upperclass peers, while those returning students continued to take up new and exciting leadership roles. Moreover, the engaging and collegial atmosphere carried across campus as students and staff took up worthwhile causes in the larger community.
Read on for campus happenings for the past month:
Celebrating Democracy Week
In conjunction with Democracy Week on campus, the Eisenhower Institute hosted several events to strengthen democracy and promote civic learning and discourse from Sept. 17-23. The weeklong event entitled “Building Bridges to a More Perfect Union” kicked off with a town hall featuring students and members of the Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP), the nation’s largest poll on political opinions and civic attitudes of young Americans, ages 18-29. Meet the Press Reports was on hand to film the exchange between students from various political ideologies and will air the segment on NBC News Now later this fall.
Additionally, EI hosted a virtual panel about the context, causes, and possible solutions for American polarization and a campus-community workshop “Dialogues Across Difference,” where Gettysburgians learned how to engage and talk to people from different political ideologies. To close out the weekly event, EI teamed up with the Center for Public Service and Pi Sigma Alpha to hold a voter registration drive on National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 22) at the College Union Building Junction.
Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates East Asian culture
On Sept. 10, Stine Lake was aglow with lights from the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival hosted by the Vietnamese Student Association and Chinese Student and Scholar Association. Together, the two organizations hosted activities such as lantern making and calligraphy as well as giving out snacks, ranging from mooncakes to milk tea, representing their culture. Tarot card reading and line drawing both drew crowds of intrigued students, while badminton, a popular sport in Asia, was played next to the tables. A K-pop (Korean pop) dance performance closed out the night of fun festivities. The Mid-Autumn Festival is part of a series of events presented by the Office of Student Activities & Greek Life (OSAGL) intended to cultivate positive interactions between students on campus.
Biking across campus
With financial support provided by Student Senate, the College Life Advisory Committee co-chaired by Drew Lemon ’24 and Aidan Wisniewski-Campo ’24 launched a new bike share program this semester. There are six bikes outside the College Union Building (CUB) and they can be rented using the “On Bike Share” app. Any of the bikes can be rented for free for one to eight hours before returning them to the CUB. Students can ride around campus to classes and meetings, stroll downtown to visit stores, or roll out to the Gettysburg Battlefield for a tour around the countryside. Student Senate contributed more than $13,000 for the project, while OSAGL and Facilities Services teamed up with the College Life Advisory Committee to bring the project to life.
The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Equality
The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Equality in PA chronicled the efforts of LGBTQ+ activists in a traveling exhibit that was featured in Musselman Library in collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center from Sept. 27 to Oct. 12. The exhibit showed the progression of equality in different Pennsylvania counties or cities on posters on the ground floor. A special showcase was focused on the book “Out in Central Pennsylvania: The History of an LGBTQ Community” by William Burton and Barry Loveland. While a statewide law protecting LGBTQ+ individuals has been unsuccessful, in 2020 such protections were voted in unanimously by the Gettysburg Borough Council, making it the 63rd municipality to pass these laws in Pennsylvania.
The Bullet points
- On Sept. 10, over 100 Gettysburg students, staff, and faculty joined the local community for the York/Adams Heart Walk. The Gettysburg team raised over $6,100 and helped the organization exceed its overall goal of $100,000. These funds help people and their families struggling with heart disease and will fund further research.
- OSAGL hosted the Student Activities Fair on Stine Lake on Sept. 16. The Activities Fair is a time-honored tradition in which first-year students are presented with over 120 clubs and organizations to join on campus. Each of these organizations is run by students, creating hundreds of leadership opportunities across campus.
- On Sept. 19, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer conducted a lecture on her book “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.” In the lecture, Kimmerer described the link Gettysburg has to the Potowanami Nation and Haudenosaunee Nations and how their teachings of gratitude interact with sustainability and nature.
- The Department of International and Global Studies (IGS) presented a panel on the war in Ukraine and its impact globally on Sept. 20. Chair of international and global studies and history Prof. William Bowman, economics Prof. Rimvydas Baltaduonis, and chair of political science Prof. Caroline Hartzell served as panelists for the event which was held in Mara Auditorium. On Sept. 24, IGS teamed up with The Sunderman Conservatory of Music to present a benefit concert to support the people of Ukraine.
- For the first time in three years, Musselman Library celebrated the creative and scholarly works of Gettysburg College students, staff, and faculty as part of Ovation, formerly known as College Authors Reception, on Sept. 23. This year’s event included works that were published, exhibited, or performed from 2019, 2020, and 2021.
- On Sept. 30, the Gettysburg community came together for Salsa on the Square on Carlisle Street in front of the Majestic Theater. This year’s event sponsored by Project Gettysburg-León (PGL) was bigger than ever and celebrated Latinx culture with great food and performances from DJ Solalinde and PA Mambo Orchestra.
By Katie Lauriello ’25
Photos courtesy of Thia Anyaoku ’23, Shawna Sherrell